With their UK Top 10 album Brave recently certified Gold, country duo, The Shires embark on a nationwide tour supporting The Corrs on their White Lights tour. Kicking off the set with the fun and upbeat All Over Again was a clever way to draw in an audience that wasn’t exactly there for them.
Their debut single, Nashville Grey Skies followed, and it was an immediate highlight of the 8-song set. Nashville Grey Skies is a well written song cleverly arranged to suit the live venue thanks to the strong presence of the electric guitar, helping the song resonate throughout the Genting arena. There were a few awkward moments during the first two songs when The Shires attempted to get a rather unresponsive audience more involved in the performance but the band charged on.
The ballad State Lines was a vocal masterpiece with female half, Crissie Rhodes really showing off her powerful vocals. A low point in the set came in the form of Friday Night. Despite being a catchy, upbeat song that one can easily imagine to be from Taylor Swift‘s country catalog, it didn’t translate well live and maybe a bit more energy from the duo could have helped the performance come alive. As it was, it seemed like they were just going through the motions.
Things quickly picked back up with album highlight Jekyll and Hyde. The duo obviously enjoyed themselves a lot more with this song, and it showed in their performance. The next song was a cover of Islands In The Streams and it was the moment that The Shires finally won over the crowd. The somber take on the iconic song reminds one of The Civil Wars (now disbanded). It was a masterful cover, with the beautiful harmonies and instrumentation making up a perfect lighters-in-the-air moment. With the crowd on their side, The Shires ended their half-hour set with an exuberant take on their own song, Tonight.
The UK isn’t exactly known for producing country stars but they may have finally hit the nail with The Shires. Their debut album Brave is available now on iTunes and other major retailers. Check out their remaining tour dates here.
1. All Over Again
2. Nashville Grey Skies
3. State Lines
5. Friday Night
6. Jekyll and Hyde
7. Islands In The Stream (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton cover)