The Shires are fast becoming one of the most favourite British country acts around at the moment. They have only been together for a few years, and in that short time, they have developed a huge and dedicated fan base. The Shires are singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. Earle sings vocals, plays piano and guitar, and Rhodes shares lead vocals. My Universe was the band’s second album and it achieved phenomenal success upon its release last year, when it became the fastest-selling UK country album in history. Country music in the UK is growing an enormous fan base, which I’m thrilled about, as I have been a fan of music created from Nashville and beyond for a number of years.
The Shires were thrilled to be playing at the London Palladium, and it was a sell-out show for the band. Their music is often chosen to be played at weddings, with their mellow and soothing tones, and a chilled out, lovely and romantic vibe. Vocally, Ben and Crissie are brilliant live. Crissie looked flawless and she could give any vocalists in Nashville a run for their money! Together, the pair ooze class and sophistication. There were a few lovely covers, including Robbie Williams’ Angels and Islands in the Stream by Dolly Parton. The crowd were lapping up every moment that they were on stage, including one little girl in the front row who was one of the most excited fans I’ve ever seen in my life, and it was super cute to see someone so happy, and so enthusiastic about every song played, mouthing every word!
The Shires gig at the London Palladium was a lovely evening, and song after song flowed in to each other like caramel. Of course, one of the tear jerkers is a song that Chrissie performs, called Daddy’s Girl, which is about her late father. Ben commented that he doesn’t know how Chrissie is able to sing this song night after night. It is so full of emotion and it must also take a great deal of emotional strength from Chrissie to be able to perform the beautiful song. It was the stand-out moment of the gig for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Shires are flying the flag for UK country and it was a classy gig, in a classy venue, we can’t ask for much more than that.