The Shires and Ward Thomas have just announced details of co-headlining Irish Tour dates Upstairs at Whelan’s on 19 November and McHughs on 20 November. Two fast-rising acts, The Shires & Ward Thomas, on a joint tour that is set to be a landmark moment for the UK scene. The bands will take it in turns to headline on a series of dates around the UK. This is the moment fans of fresh and exciting country music have been waiting for! Tickets for Belfast are priced £11.50 excluding booking fee and are on sale now.

The Shires:

The groundswell of interest in country music in the UK is now officially unstoppable. But one of the acts helping to make country cooler than ever on this side of the Atlantic aren’t from Tennessee or Texas, they’re from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. They look and sound great, and they’re all set to take their country-influenced music to the world. Step forward, The Shires.

The duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes has swiftly become one of the real buzz bands of 2014. Getting together as recently as May of last year, and with only a handful of live dates under their belt, The Shires have secured the support of a host of industry tastemakers in no time. Decca won the hot contest for their signatures just before they made their official live London debut at the event that confirmed the wave of interest in the country genre, the second annual Country 2 Country Festival at London’s 02 Arena.

Now The Shires are ready to gig, and to bring that album home from Nashville. “At the end of the day, all we want to do is write songs and sing them,” says Earle. People will be more than ready to listen, in their country and far beyond.

Ward Thomas:

We were born in 1994 in London after much effort and a long wait on our parent’s part. Together with our elder brother, we grew up on a livestock farm in Hampshire, England. There is a strong seam of creativity on both sides of our family. Our grandmother wrote over forty novels and our great-grandfather was an inventor. Our parents were in a band together and Mum has become a well-recognized painter. Today, our brother is an actor and a playwright. So friends aren’t surprised that singing is what we love to do most in life. The fact that we choose to sing Country music needs a little more explanation.

Our lives haven’t always been perfect or easy. Our parents went through a divorce when we were twelve. We had our share of family tiffs and a broken heart or two along the way, but those are the growing pains that inspired us to think and write about life beyond the fields. However it is our early years of living on the farm that give us our country roots: Cows, chickens, pigs and goats have the same language in rural England as they do below America’s Mason-Dixon line. So we write and sing about family, friends and the stories that make life real – true Country music.

“Even a few years ago, the idea of British Country music spelt wannabe Dollys, line-dancing seniors and unconvincing American accents. Now though, fresh artists with country influences and the dexterity to create a credible home-grown version of the music are emerging” – Sunday Times

NOVEMBER 04 – Glee Club, Birmingham
NOVEMBER 06 – O2 Academy 2, Liverpool
NOVEMBER 07 – Thekla, Bristol
NOVEMBER 09 – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
NOVEMBER 10 – Bush Hall, London
NOVEMBER 11 – Bush Hall, London
NOVEMBER 13 – Band On The Wall, Manchester
NOVEMBER 14 – The Sage, Gateshead
NOVEMBER 16 – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
NOVEMBER 17 – Waterfront, Norwich
NOVEMBER 19 – Whelan’s, Dublin
NOVEMBER 20 – McHughs, Belfast
NOVEMBER 22 – Pocklington Arts Centre, York
NOVEMBER 23 – King Tut’s, Glasgow
NOVEMBER 24 – Empire, Middlesbrough
NOVEMBER 26 – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
NOVEMBER 27 – The Stables, Milton Keynes

McHughs Basement, Belfast
Thursday November 20th 2014
Doors 8pm
Tickets £11.50 + Booking Fee

Tickets on sale now priced £11.50 (excluding booking fee) from & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers 0844 277 44 55 &Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300