British country duo The Shires got the second leg of their UK tour under way with a fine performance in Blackpool.
The popularity of Ben Earle and Chrissie Rhodes’ music has grown and that was clear as the audience carried on singing well after the final song until they returned for an encore.
A mix of full-blooded upbeat American-style country tracks and slower tracks – like tearjerker Daddy’s Little Girl – made up an entertaining setlist that will have pleased fans of the genre, and is likely to have won a few converts.
They have already had remarkable success for a British country group but their sound, musically diverse and vocally mesmerising, would not be out of place in Nashville.
A country song called Made In England – celebrating grey skies and fish and chips – might raise a few eyebrows over there, but on the strength of this performance, The Shires can mix it with the best in an American-dominated genre.