Posted: 06 Dec 2016
Three years ago The Shires played The Sage…in the café. Now they’re headlining Hall One to a rapturous audience having hit the big-time.
The sky’s the limit for the duo from the shires of Hertford and Bedford. With their star rapidly rising who knows how far they’ll travel through the universe.
Their second album ‘My Universe’ is the fastest-selling UK Country album ever. Their debut, ‘Brave’ had been the first UK country album to sneak into the top 10 of the mainstream chart, but with ‘My Universe’ having debuted at No 3 it’s like reaching Mars having previously only being as far as the moon.
Now backed by a technically tight four-piece band, the duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes delighted their audience with a 70-minute set that never let up, brief introductions leading rapidly into song after song with ‘Nashville Grey Skies’, ‘State-lines’ and ‘My Universe’ being highlights on a night when moments after the gig Earle tweeted, ‘What an amazing reaction @ The Sage, Gateshead.’
A three-song encore climaxed with a rousing singalong of ‘A thousand Hallelujahs’. Just signed to Nashville based Big Machine label which helped turn Taylor Swift from country act to mainstream pop superstardom it may be that the next time The Shires tour it may be neither the café or Hall One of The Sage but into the arena circuit.
Ironically their wonderful harmonies will never be better served than by the fabulous acoustics of the Sage so those there this time will have seen them at their best.