REVIEW: The Shires bring a country storm to Cambridge

The Shires performed at Cambridge Corn Exchange

The Shires performed at Cambridge Corn Exchange - Credit: Supplied by Carver PR

The Shires brought Nashville to Cambridge with foot-stomping melodies and a dose of southern charm.

They’ve had a meteoric rise to fame over the past three years - quickly becoming the UK’s biggest selling country act of all time.

Yet Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle remain incredibly humble considering they’re at the forefront of a country music explosion.

Their highly anticipated third album ‘Accidentally on Purpose’ released in April, combined massive country-pop choruses about their whirlwind journey, relationships and time in the States.

From the moment they came onto the stage on Wednesday night; I knew we were in for a treat.


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Filled with pop-inspired hooks it’s hard not to get up on your feet and dance along.

“Don’t date a songwriter - they’ll only end up writing about you,” warns Crissie.

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And there’s no truer words said as The Shires demonstrate autobiographical music at its finest.

I’d seen the duo live once before in Birmingham when they were relatively new to the music scene.

But for anyone who hadn’t heard of them back then - they made sure they would leave an echo throughout the Corn Exchange on Wednesday.

The set list melted my heart with classics from the early days such as State Lines, Brave, Islands in the Stream and Black and White.

While infectious country-pop anthems Friday Night, Beats To Your Rhythm, A Thousand Hallelujahs and All Over Again were delivered packed with a punch.

Crissie’s powerhouse vocals and Ben’s smoky tones create something magical when blended together.

In between songs they speak to the audience like we’re old friends having a catch up.

From partying with Ed Sheeran to writing about a brief romance Crissie had in Nashville - they tell it all.

Standout moments came from Loving You Too Long, Ahead of the Storm and The Hard Way - all taken from the new album - and Crissie’s shining moment with Daddy’s Little Girl - written about her father who sadly passed away.

It’s no wonder that they have two gold certified albums under their belt within 12 months of each other.

They may feel most at home on southern soil but I think they need to up sticks and host a hoedown back here again in Cambridge soon.

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