Surprise Fund-Raiser for Selsey RNLI – An Evening with Phil Beer

September 2017

Part of the appreciative audience between sets The Raffle Stall
Phil on stage Julian, John and Phil
Coxswain, Martin Rudwick, being presented with the cheque by Julian

Throughout August, you may well have seen posters around Selsey advertising 'An Evening with Phil Beer' at the Selsey Centre, as part of The Selsey Festival. The advertising, on behalf of concert organisers Selsey Folk and Music Club, cited Phil as one half of Radio 2's Folk Award winning acoustic duo 'Show of Hands', and described him as a 'true craftsman, master musician and consummate performer'.

'Show of Hands' won the title 'Best Live Act' in 2004, an award voted for by the public rather than music industry insiders, and is therefore much coveted by performers. In 2010, in addition to winning the title 'Best Duo', they also won the award for 'Best Original Song' for the title track on their studio album 'Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed'. They performed the award-winning track in an appearance on the February edition of The Andrew Marr Show in 2011, and in the same month Phil was named Musician of the Year at the 2011 Spiral Awards.

As a solo performer Phil has a lot going for him, indeed it is said he can play virtually any stringed instrument, and the near capacity audience was treated to a performance of songs accompanied by his playing of violin, ukulele, viola, mandolin, and slide and tenor guitars. Phil show-cased his musical influences with covers of songs by Hoyt Axton, Little Feat, Davy Graham and scores by film music composer John Williams amongst others. He also performed self-penned tracks from his own back catalogue as together with pieces written by his 'Show of Hands' partner Steve Knightley.

In addition to entertaining the audience with his skills on the variety of instruments he played, Phil had a deep reservoir of stories to tell about many of the songs he played, and where, when and how different artistes, musical styles and events had influenced him.

An announcement by John Bradley, co-founder of Selsey Folk and Music Club, before the show began that proceeds from the evening's sale of raffle tickets and refreshments were to be donated to the Selsey RNLI was greeted with great pleasure by the audience and Phil himself.

Devon born Phil lives on a boat and is an ardent sailor (he crewed in the 2009 Tall Ships race), also his best friend is the second coxswain at his local RNLI, so he is very much aware of the fabulous work that the organisation does. The announcement prompted him to tell a very amusing story about how he had become stranded on a sandbank when he got caught up in the wash of a Lifeboat on a high tide and couldn't be rescued until the next high tide some 24 hours later.

All in all, this was an excellent evening's entertainment, made all the better by knowing that while we were enjoying ourselves we were also contributing to a very worthy cause. Thank you Selsey Folk and Music Club!

Colvin Rae, Chairman of Selsey RNLI, said "we had no idea that this was to be a fundraising event and were very surprised and delighted to hear that we would be benefitting from it. We understand that the amount raised is in the region of £500 and are very grateful to Selsey Folk and Music Club for choosing us as the beneficiaries of this event and to everyone who attended for their generosity".

Phil will be back in the Sussex/Hampshire area with shows at Fareham on 16th December 2017, and Shoreham on 22nd March 2018. For more information on his forthcoming appearances, be it as a solo artiste, with 'The Phil Beer Band' or 'Show of Hands' with Steve Knightley, see www.philbeer.co.uk; to learn more about Phil himself see www.facebook.com/PhilBeerBand.

Selsey Folk and Music Club meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at The Selsey Club, Coxes Road, 7pm for 7.30pm, and all are welcome. To find out more contact Julian Lindsey Clark on 07721 532711 or e-mail him at julian.lindseyclark@gmail.com.