The Shires performing their Accidentally On Purpose Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 8th June 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The Shires are the UK’s biggest ever selling country act, and on last night’s performance at the Royal Concert Hall it was easy to see why.

Touring to promote their third and latest album, Accidentally On Purpose, Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes bounced onto the stage and immediately encouraged the crowd to get on their feet and dance along, which they did.

Opening with new song, Echo, they delivered a slick and highly polished performance which included a good balance of songs from all three of their albums. Old songs State Lines, All Over Again and Friday Night all made early appearances and went down a storm, whilst the title track of the new album had the crowd singing along.

With Ben’s guitar and piano playing being complemented brilliantly by a talented four piece band, the duo delivered a perfect set list of their up tempo songs and ballads. On their gentle numbers such as Black & White and Brave, the vocal chemistry between them was there for all to hear.

The very poignant and beautifully worded Daddy’s Little Girl was played to a silent crowd as Crissie had them in the palm of her hand with her soaring vocals. Another hit of the evening was Stay The Night written for them by Ed Sheeran, and with that it wasn’t hard to see why they were the 2017 winner’s of The British County Association’s Duo Of The Year.

Poppy track River Of Love had an anthemic feel about it and had the crowd singing and swaying along. Their latest offering, Guilty was followed by their first ever single, Nashville Grey Skies before they finished with an encore that included Loving You too Long and A Thousand Hallelujahs, which just served to cement their well earned inclusion on the world’s country stage.