Live Reviews

The Shires supporting Little Big Town at Shepherds Bush Empire

UK Country starts The Shires support Little Big Town on tour


Friday, 13 February 2015

FEB 10TH 2015

When it was announced that The Shires were supporting Little Big Town it was almost too good to be true. My Twitter feed went crazy and my friends and I were planning away and all purchased VIP tickets. This was such a great gig for The Shires to get and of course well deserved and we, the fans were feeling very proud.

The Shires have come so far over the last year and will only grow bigger in 2015, this of course has not gone without hard work from Ben and Crissie who are busy touring, releasing their debut album, attending various interviews and other media events and still take the time to interact with their fans daily on Social media sites. Ben and Crissie have not only built their own Nashville but a great fan base too which is full of strong, loyal supporters who are also a sort of community.

The one thing I love about running @theshiresfans twitter page is reading the fan interaction and as a fan being able to chat with other fans about them and to spread the word as much as I can. It has also been nice watching The Shires grow twitter followers/fans from under 1,000 to over 4,000 in just a matter of months. Its widely known that Country Music is not big in the UK and having Radio 2 support Country is helping that change and its great that Radio are backing The Shires and that their singles are getting regular air play. When I told people at work who I was going to see live, it made a change that someone actually said they knew who I was seeing for once and that they had heard The Shires on Radio 2.


Well on to the February 10th, The first night of Little Big Town’s Tour featuring The Shires as Support. Those of us who purchased VIP tickets had to be at the venue at 3.45 pm which was cutting it fine for me as I live in a Little Big Town in GloucesterSHIRE. However, I did make it in time.

After out VIP with Little Big Town and having to re queue outside, my friends and I were lucky enough to get to the barrier. I tend to not do so usually as need seats as seem to have the body of a 90 year old with rubbish knees but seeing as I wanted to be close for both support act and main act and having the joy of early access, I decided to do it and I wanted to be up close to support The Shires. I think it is nice for the support act to feel encouraged with their fans up close too. Sadly after the show I ended up with cramp in my hand and foot and was walking like a Raptor Dinosaur and could of easily have auditioned for Jurassic Park. Whilst Crissie certainly has the X Factor, I sadly only had The Rex Factor (yes that was awful I know)

I have to say that for me, this was The Shires best performance yet and for a lot of reasons. One reason being the fact I was with friends so I could be more silly, no offence to my husband but was fun being with them all and was a laugh singing along and doing silly actions and air grabs with Jamie @maybe_im_crazy. The other, being so close was amazing as normally I am at the back. Also, the acoustics in the venue were great for their voices, Ben and Crissie seemed excited and more confident as a band and they clearly felt comfortable with the audience. My husband, who sat upstairs said Crissie’s voice really suited the venue.

As the crowd was bigger at Shepherds Bush than some of the venues they have played in, it was more energetic. The response was overwhelming when they came on stage and seemed that almost all of Shepherds Bush Empire were singing along to every song. I am sure Radio 2 playing their songs regularly was a big contributor. I wish I took a Moment to look behind me to see people’s reaction but I was too busy having fun.

Ben and Crissie started the set with the song Brave which is also the title of their upcoming debut album. During this song the venue was silent and appreciative. They then kicked into Nashville Grey Skies which got the crowd going. I know a lot of fans were gained that evening and people who were on the fence so to speak were definitely won over. They also sang their version of Candi Staton’s Young Hearts Run Free which is always stunning and sang Tonight, State Lines and Friday Night mashed up with Bruno Mars/Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk which they originally performed in front of Mark Ronson on Chris Evans radio 2 show. The set list finished with a cover of Islands in the stream.


My friend Jamie and I had a lot of fun when Tonight and Friday Night were performed and a lot of awful dance moves were created that evening ha. We of course would have liked a longer set but leaving us wanting more is not a bad thing and a certain incentive to book tickets to their headlining tour in April, which you can get tickets for here:

I also have to make note of how Crissie is just getting more and more stunning each time we see her and her outfits are always amazing. I always feel an urge to shout at her on stage to ask where she shops. Is that weird? Ah, who cares.

After their show, like Vultures Jamie and I were screaming for the Set Lists especially as they were hand written. As weird as it may sound to some, I do like having little mementos like that as they hold sentimental value to me. Luckily though, Jamie managed to get the attention of the guitarist Charles in a way in what I can only describe as a yodel attempting to be a casual “hey can we have the set lists?” and Charles kindly (with a worried look on his face or possibly fear )handed them over. Jamie had Crissies and I had Bens. I had wanted a set list every tour but have never been close enough to get one so was happy. I did wonder though if they needed them and were like “Er we needed those, now we won’t remember what we are playing the next few nights and have to write the whole damn thing out again” If that’s the case, sorry guys haha.


For those of you who haven’t already, The Shires debut album Brave comes out on March 2nd.

I, for one cannot wait for this album and in a good way am getting impatient. It has been pushed back a couple of times but they informed us that there was a possibility the album may get into the top ten of the regular charts which is very exciting, so please, let’s help them get there and pre order now.

You can order a signed deluxe here*/*/Brave-Signed-Deluxe-Album/3MKB0000000?utm_campaign=THESHIRESBraveDlxPreOrd&utm_content=THESHIRESBraveDlxPreOrd&utm_medium=Referral&utm_source=ArtistWebsite

Regular cd here

And of course download here :

I truly believe The Shires will make it big and am proud to be amongst those who can say they were there at the beginning. The Shires are not just talented but hardworking, down to earth and inspiring. They have certainly put their stamp in the country market in a big cowboy boot stamp way and are proving to be the band to put Country music on the UK map and about time someone did and I can’t think of anyone better to represent British Country Music than The Shires.


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