Gig preview: The Shires at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

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UK country duo The Shires will be kicking off their much anticipated UK tour in Leeds at the Brudenell Social Club on April 8.

The Yorkshire Evening Post caught up with vocalist Crissie Rhodes ahead of the first date of their UK tour.

“We love The Brudenell, it’s a great venue, we’ve played there before and we can’t wait to go back!” she enthuses.

The band have been on the lips of much of the UK music press recently, for being the first ever British country band to have an album in the top 10.

Their album Brave, released in March this year through legendary label Decca Nashville, went straight in at number 10 in the UK album chart.

“We couldn’t have found out about the album reaching the top 10 in a nicer way,” explains Crissie. ‘We were playing at Country 2 Country festival on the Satellite Stage at the o2 in London. We were told just before we went on stage that we had reached the top 10 with the album. The festival is the largest Country music festival in the UK, so we were so excited to announce it on stage to all our fans. They helped to get us there, it was a really exciting and special moment.”

The story of how the duo Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle met couldn’t be more fitting for a country band. Both of them have struggled and worked hard to make a career as professional musician.

“This was our last chance, it really was. Ben and I both really had our knockbacks. When we found each other, it just worked. We gave this our all, and we are so grateful for all of the opportunities we’ve been given, and to the people that have supported us.”

Country music has definitely had a huge resurgence in the last couple of years, I wondered why that might be.

“Everybody is really getting behind the new country sound now, there are some really great and supportive online country radio stations, the TV program Nashville has helped as well I think. I guess it’s not just about rhinestones and cowboys, and I think that the music resonates so much with people. Country music is all about the song and the story, its a powerful thing.”

It is an exciting time for the band, as we ended the conversation, Crissie was explaining how she had just been shopping for a new outfit for a video shoot in Los Angeles. For a relatively new band on the scene, their journey has been extraordinary.

Their sold-out show at the Brudenell Social Club promises to be a massive celebration of the music and the band’s recent success.

For further details visit http://www.theshiresmusic.com