Watching the shires online may have been a far cry from the last time I saw them at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena but they managed to transcend that imminent buzz you feel from live music.
The dynamic duo bought their infamous harmonies with some of the best talent the UK Country Scene has to offer. Crissie’s immensely powerful vocals never cease to give me goosebumps and Ben’s immense musicianship demonstrates exactly why these two are at the top of their game and leading the way for UK Country Music.
Playing a plethora of music both from their old and new catalogue, it was great to see them and the band back on stage and no doubt, it was the same for them!
‘About Last Night’ felt particularly evocative. Hearing new music being performed in this manner for the first time is always special. If anything, more so in this special setting. Bringing the tempo down with a stripped back version of ‘All Over Again’ I was reminded that while Crissie and Ben very much suit the full band and that huge sound, they really don’t need much more than a guitar and their stunning vocals to demonstrate their talents.
Followed by ‘I Just Wanna Love You’, Ben and Crissie told the story of how their journey began and it was so humbling to see them reflect so fondly on their journey.
Crisses beautiful ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ reduced me to tears. Maybe the sentiment was even more prominent having been kept from our loved ones this past year, but this song will always be so special for so many reasons for so many of us.
With just vocals, guitar and bringing in the mandolin, The Shires performed ‘On The Day I Die’ which really was something very special. The notion of really appreciating the life we live also hit home. I can totally appreciate why the duo chose to perform a stripped back version allowing the vocals and the sentimentality to really shine through.
Back with a full band for ‘River Of Love’ it’s hard not to sing along…even if we are sat in our living rooms, we’re all alone together! At least we didn’t have to tackle queues at the bar right?
With a whole album of tracks yet to be played in front of a live audience, ‘Independence Day’ will without a doubt be a crowd pleaser! The latest album from The Shires is jam packed with some incredible tracks so the countdown is well and truly on!
It’s easy to forget how long The Shires have been going, taking us back to some of their earlier tracks with ‘State Lines’ and ‘Friday Night’ released on their 2015 debut album ‘Brave’, their clever lyricism really shines through and was a wonderful reminder that there’s such a large catalogue of incredible tracks to go back on.
Ben and Crissie detailed how their dream has always been to get their music to Bob Harris and make Country Music big in the UK. Here’s our chance to say thank you for shining a light on the scene and for being such a pivotal part in the growth of UK Country Music. Sailing seamlessly into ‘Nashville Grey Skies’, the humble dream is now a reality for the duo. Their versatility shines through and while no-one can deny that an online show cannot compare to the buzz of a live show, without a shadow of a doubt this was something special and they bought a atmosphere of their own.
Closing the show with ‘Crazy Days;, perhaps it’s safe to say that this track held a different meaning but one of positivity without a doubt. It’s safe to say that we’re all ready to get back to live gigs, but thank you to Stabal for putting together such an incredible alternative to a live gig and to The Shires for their performance and for not holding an ounce back.
You can still enjoy the show here by purchasing a 30-day pass! – https://stabal.com/stabal_media/the-shires/
Check out our chat with The Shires prior to their live show below;
About Last Night
All Over Again
I Just Wanna Love You
Daddy’s Little Girl
On The Day I Die
River Of Love
Nashville Grey Skies
A Thousand Hallelujahs
Joel Peat – guitar
Thomas Farmer – keys
Ollie Harding – drums
Adam Double – bass
Review written by Samantha Melrose (twitter.com/smelrose19)