Hertfordshire duo, The Shires, have taken the country music scene by storm over the past 24 months with the release of their deep, affecting, first two albums and intimate music shows.
In the process of recording their third album we caught up with Crissie Rhodes to talk about the new material and there forthcoming show at the Americana festival.
Damian By the time we publish this interview you’ll have played at Wembley Stadium supporting ELO. You must be excited?
Crissie Oh, we are so excited for that show. We love ELO and are really excited to play for 55,000 people. Usually we play more intimate shows, so this is going to be quiet different for us.
Damian: And you’ve played the Isle of Wight festival this year as well; do you get nervous before large shows?
Crissie I get more excited than frightened if I’m honest, I love the thrill of playing live. Ben can often get a little bit of stage fright, but support each other well and if one of gets nervous, we know we have each other.
Damian Wembley seems like the perfect warm-up for the Americana festival?
Crissie Yeah, we’re both really excited for the Americana. We played the festival a few years ago on one of the smaller stages and now we get to play on the main stage, which is really nice.
Damian Americana has a great reputation for interesting country artists, but this year I think they’ve outdone themselves with the line up.
Crissie Yeah, there’s so much country talent coming across now to the UK for shows, and also a real growth in British bands breaking through into the mainstream. It sees like lots more people want to listen to country and want to see new and established bands.
Damian There’s a real North Eastern love of country music, and the Sage in particular is growing that exposure. Will you be sticking around for the festival or do you have to parachute in and out?
Crissie It’s normally up to the tour manager if I’m honest. But because Gateshead is quiet far for us to travel we’ll probably come up the day before, stay over, and check out as many bands as we can. As you say, the line up is brilliant, so we’ve got a list of people we’d like to see. We got in to trouble with the tour manager a few weeks ago when we were at the Isle of Wight as we were trying to see as many bands as we could and hanging out talking to other bands.
Damian: After Americana can we expect any new tracks anytime soon?
Crissie We were out in Nashville a few weeks ago to write new tunes and hang out with our songwriter friends so we hope to get a new album out early next year. We’re in the process of getting some new tracks out before the album.
Damian Great, any particular themes or sounds coming out strongly?
Crissie: I think we both like writing life stories so we take a lot from what we see and what’s around us. At the moment in particular there’s a lot of influence, so it’s been helping us to create material.
Damian: Can we expect to hear new tracks at Americana?
Crissie I’m not sure to be honest, we’re not sure yet which songs will make the album yet. If they’re ready then we’ll try to play them.
The Shires play the SummerTyne Americana festival; Friday 21st July at the Sage. Tickets from £29.60