The Shires are the UKs best selling and fastest selling Country act and have released two albums to date: the brilliant debut ‘Brave‘, and the record breaking ‘My Universe‘. Not only that but they became the first English act to sign to a major label in Nashville, the Home of Country Music, and will continue their upward momentum with an upcoming UK tour taking in not only the legendary Royal Albert Hall but also featuring a support slot with Michael Buble and Van Morrison at Hyde Park this summer. Having seen them play live, I’d really recommend trying to see them.
Not only are The Shires touring but they are back with a new album which will be released this Friday. Existing fans of the UKs most successful country act will be pleased to hear that this album is not revolutionary in its content; however, it is very much evolutionary as the duo go from strength to strength with this new release. At first listen, you might be forgiven for thinking it is more well-produced country pop, but I’d encourage you to dig a little deeper as this album gets better and better the more you play it. This is largely due to the outstanding writing. In fact, not only does this see duo Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle in excellent songwriting form, but also features a song written by Ed Sheeran, who is showing his usual acumen by not only penning ‘Stay The Night’ for The Shires but also being rumoured to be collaborating with the phenomenal Florida Georgia Line in the States. He can certainly spot the most successful duos either side of the Atlantic, and ‘Stay The Night’ will surely be a future single.
The album has already garnered two great singles; ‘Guilty’ and the title track ‘Accidentally on Purpose‘ which have done very well indeed. The best thing I can say about the forthcoming album is that, unusually, for me the best is yet to come. Several of the excellent tracks could easily be future hit singles. If not the Sheeran penned ‘Stay the Night’, then certainly my favourite on the album ‘Ahead of the Storm’.
All twelve of the songs really could be released as a single and that only goes to show the strength of the album. Whether it’s the singalong songs like opener, ‘The Hard Way’, or ‘Echo’, two songs that will be surefire crowd pleasers when performed live; the heartfelt love songs, ‘Speechless’, or ‘Loving You Too Long’; or the singles ‘Guilty’, or ‘Accidentally On Purpose’: there really is something for every taste, every mood or every emotion. With not a weak song on the album I’d recommend the early purchase so that you can start enjoying The Shires very own soundtrack to your summer.
I have listened to the album continually since being given access to it and it really does get better and better every time. The Shires are very much here to stay and I’ll be joining the queue to see them live and keep hoping they get a bigger slot at next years C2C to cement their place amongst the Country Music faithful. In the words of the band themselves, “..if it’s a crime to have a good time, I’m guilty!”
“Our new album ‘Accidentally on Purpose’ is full of personal songs that really sums up the whirlwind journey we’ve been on together. From the day we met, we’ve been crazy dreamers with big plans, who really believed that Country could break into the UK mainstream. For all those dreams, we never imagined it would all happen so quickly and we’re so proud and excited to be releasing our third album.”Ben and Crissie, The Shires
The Shires 2018 UK Tour dates:
May 12th: Guildford G Live May 28th: Gateshead The Sage
May 13th: Bournemouth Pavilion May 30th: Carlisle Sands Centre
May 14th: Cardiff St. David’s Hall May 31st: York Barbican
May 16th: Bristol Colston Hall June 1st: Birmingham Symphony Hall
May 18th: London Royal Albert Hall June 3rd: Stoke Victoria Hall
May 19th: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall June 4th: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
May 20th: Sheffield City Hall June 5th: Llandudno Venue Cymru
May 22nd: Ipswich Regent Theatre June 6th: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
May 23rd: Cambridge Corn Exchange June 8th: Nottingham Royal Centre
May 24th: Oxford New Theatre June 9th: Brighton Dome
May 27th: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall June 10th: Basingstoke The Anvil