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The Crack Magazine

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Country Comes To Town

The UK’s best-selling country act The Shires are visiting Sunderland in January to ease us into the new year with a gorgeous acoustic set.

It’s often difficult for a UK country act to make a big splash in the US. In fact it’s akin to trying to teach the Yanks how to win hotdog eating competitions. But one UK act has managed to bridge the divide (musically, not with hotdogs) and that’s The Shires, who had the distinction of becoming the first ever UK country to sign to a major Nashville label. Not content with that, they also managed to go on and become the first UK outfit to win ‘Best International Act’ at the highly prestigious Country Music Awards in the US. In short, they’re the real deal and have proved as much over the course of four rapturously received albums, all of which made the top ten in the UK (they all reached number one in the country charts). The duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have bags of charm and fantastic new venue The Fire Station in Sunderland should be the ideal platform for them to deliver an acoustic set of real warmth. GM

The Shires (acoustic), Thursday 27 January, The Fire Station, Sunderland, 7.30pm, £22. sunderlandculture.org.uk/our-venues/the-fire-station