The Shires ‘Crissie’ chatting with Think Country’s Hannah
On Wednesday morning, I had the good fortune of Interviewing Crissie from The Shires on behalf of Think Country. For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Shires, they are a UK Country Music duo who are currently taking the music industry by storm. With a top ten album in March 2015, this duo are still dominating the charts and are pretty much everywhere. They have been on tour with Sir Tom Jones, have played at many festivals including CMA Festival in Nashville. They also had their debut at the world famous Grand Ole Opry. They have been, and still are, featured on numerous Radio and TV shows, with a headline tour coming up in October.
Their current single All Over Again will be released on August 21st and is already a hit being on Radio 2’s A list and getting the support of many prime time DJ’s.
I do hope you enjoy the interview.
Wednesday August 5th 2015
How are you?
Crissie: Really good actually, super busy, managed to have a day off yesterday and Monday, Ben was on The Wright Stuff so he was still on the go. It was nice to have a couple of days of rest but we miss it when we are at home.
I bet you do.
It has been a busy year for you with the Album, Festivals amongst other exciting things. Have you got any stand out moments?
Crissie: Honestly, stand out moment this year has to have been Country 2 Country Festival. I think it was just incredible because there were so many people there and seeing the Festival go from the first year to the second and then to the third and then hearing next year there will be another day added. Also finding out we had gone Top Ten on the Sunday, with all those fans felt like a moment we all shared together. We all achieved that together and couldn’t have done that without everyone that was there in that room as well as the fans online. Also Glastonbury was a big moment for us as Ben had gone for years and always said ‘Next year, I will be playing on that stage, next year’ and every next year came and he was never on the stage so I think for him, it was a big moment to be able to perform at the festival. And then obviously the Opry as well was a big moment for us too.
Yeah, I wish I was at The Opry, I did stay up to listen and it sounded amazing but wish we could have seen a live stream too.
Crissie: I want to see it, if there is a video, it feels really weird because it was such a big moment for us, we got a couple of photos and yet the one time, other than photos there is no video evidence of us doing it.
So you have been playing a lot of festivals this summer. What have the crowd reactions been like because with festivals you may be playing to an unknown crowd?
Crissie: Yes. This is our first year of doing festivals so we don’t really know what to expect, so its somewhat different to our own tours because on your own tours the crowd knows you. At least 80 per cent of the crowd definitely know who you are because a lot of people bring their friends along who don’t know who you are so its always a new experience for them.
The festivals have been going down really well, we have been shocked by the amount of people that know the words and even songs like Black and White they are singing as well which is strange for us because it’s an album track and we don’t expect people to know the words to everything. Our social media has been going crazy since the festivals with people saying they’ve seen us, heard us at a festival and followed us on the internet and got the album as well. Been a lot of excitement.
The Tom Jones gigs have all been quite different as well, we went out to Europe with him. It was a different kind of crowd over there but then, coming back to the UK people are saying they have got tickets to come and see us and they got to see Tom Jones as well, which is quite funny.
Yes, Tom Jones, Your support act, ha, I love it.
Crissie: Ha ha yeah
That was actually the next question I was going to ask, how has it been on his tour? Has he given you any advice or feedback?
Crissie: Do you know what, I think he is very professional as has been doing it for so many years, but we haven’t got to see him a whole lot. We met him at a charity event separate to our gigs. I did hear him warming up the other week and it was just someone jamming on the acoustic guitar and him doing his warm up which was pretty cool.
I missed him at Cornbury, I was gutted.
Crissie: He is absolutely amazing and his voice just takes you back straight away that he can still sing like that at 75.
He is impressive. Let’s hope you guys are still performing at his age.
Crissie: Let’s hope our careers last that long as well.
Definitely. I don’t see why not.
Your album Brave has jumped 45 places in the official UK album charts. I would imagine playing to new audiences at so many festivals has helped. How does it feel to know the album is still doing so well in the main album charts since its original release and that it continues to reach wider audiences?
Crissie: Yeah, it’s just, it’s just brilliant and 27 ( chart position) that is crazy! We released it in March and there it is, still climbing back up the charts 45 places. We just can’t believe it.
We did Car Fest this weekend and Camp Bestival and we have got the posters on the underground now as well. Decca (Label) have been really supportive of us and we want to make sure we are getting out there. We’ve got a big TV Campaign going on this week as well so, hopefully, another big push right now to get people knowing about us. It’s just really exciting that the album is still lingering there in the charts, and being a Country album too.
Well it’s exciting for us fans so can’t imagine how it feels for you guys.
Crissie: Awww, we are all going through it together really.
You know what, it does actually feel like that, especially when every gig we go to there are so many familiar faces, so it really does feel like that.
Crissie: It’s like a big Reunion every time
Ha! It IS like a big reunion every time.
Crissie: Honestly, it feels like that for us. We are up there on stage and, even at Festivals, the main supporters are there coming through to the front and we can see and its so relieving for us to not know who we are going to see from that stage and then to see familiar faces smiling back at us and singing the words and Anna (fan) doing her dance routine, you know its so nice.
Exactly, I mean some even went to Nashville to see your Opry Debut.
Crissie: Yeah we had people at the Opry which was crazy. Matthew was there (Nashville Over here) we were on stage and there he was with a camera. I thought, what are you doing down there? It instantly put a smile on my face to see a familiar face.
The current album chart position may also be down to the vast amount of airplay your current single All Over Again is receiving. It’s currently on Radio 2’s A List being played by almost every Prime Time DJ on Radio 2. How does that make you feel and would you say this single has had the most success on Radio so far?
Crissie: God that’s crazy when you say it like that. But the support of this single has been great. I think with Friday Night it really stepped up a lot for us and then State Lines, just everyone was playing it and it seems that was the one that kind of gave us the introduction to many of the DJ’s which was strange because it was a ballad and ballads don’t tend to go down well on radio. But Chris Evans has been playing it every morning and there have been so many reactions coming from it as well as on Twitter and Facebook saying ‘I love hearing The Shires in the middle of the day’. I remember about a year ago or more, if you heard one Lady Antebellum song on the radio or Kacey Musgraves in the middle of the day, you would jump out of your skin and say YES, finally, County music during the middle of the day. So the fact that Radio 2 have really come on board with that is just incredible.
Also, They have got us performing with Ward Thomas at Hyde Park in September. The two of us are just going to get up on that stage, we are going to perform a Striking Matches cover and an 80’s cover which we haven’t decided what yet. So, we are going to go out full force for Country Music, for sure.
That will be really good and I know what you mean about Radio. My husband and I would call each other during the day saying Lady Antebellums on the radio and Now it’s Oh My god The Shires are on the radio.
Crissie: It’s nice now to have it happen enough. You used to have to wait for Bob Harris on a Thursday night for one hour and now you hear more Country music being played during the day, it’s just brilliant really.
Will you be doing a video for All Over Again?
Crissie: Not for All Over Again for some reason. Not really sure why but we hopefully will for the next single, which isn’t quite decided upon yet. The video process is so much fun, so when they said we were going with the next single we were like ‘ Wicked, we get to do a new video’ but for some reason there’s not. It would have been a lot of fun.
Perhaps you can release a Lyric Video or maybe a fan video.
So, All Over Again is the first song you wrote together
How long did it take to write and what was the creation process? Was it an idea one of you already had?
Crissie: Yeah, I can’t exactly remember how we came up with the concept. We would be sitting in each other’s houses. Ben would just start jamming a chord progression and it kind of came about when we were in a happier mood, because at the time we were writing, well Ben was writing a lot more Ballads. It was a time we were going through where we were just so busy and you kind of forget about your loved ones and you get so taken away by your day to day living that you forget to appreciate who you’ve got in your life sometimes and sometimes you just need to take a step out of your busy hectic life and just appreciate what you’ve got and that kind of came out in the song and that you’ve fallen in love All Over Again.
We had a couple come up to us to say they were on the point of divorce and then they heard this song and it made them remember what they loved about each other and that life does get in the way of relationships sometimes, and you just need to keep remembering what you loved about the person as it is really important.
Aww, there are Councellors in you yet, in fact you don’t need a councellor, just listen to the song.
Crissie: Aww yeah exactly.
Are you working on Album 2? Can we get any hints? Have you been back in the studio?
Crissie: We have been in the studio doing something exciting which we can’t mention much about just yet. We are very excited about it. We have no idea when it’s going to be released as yet or if it’s going to be an album track or released as a single.
We have been writing. Ben’s been doing a lot more writing than I have, he has a good team of people that he writes with and he has got a lot of songs, I was out in Nashville and writing with various people out there as well and we have a lot of songs and songs that didn’t make the first album, we have got a lot to consider.
Ben writes well under pressure, he managed to write State Lines and Friday Night whilst he was exhausted.
You will have to stress him out more ha.
Crissie: Ha yeah, stress him out, completely exhaust him.
Put him in a room with no food and sleep and shout WRITE haha.
Crissie: Yeah, haha.
You still have a few festivals to go including Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza this Saturday. How did it feel to be hand picked by Michael Eavis?
Crissie: Amazing. Incredible that we have been asked to perform at the event, especially for the villagers that live around the area to say thanks for letting us trash your area. We are really excited about it.
You are the only new artists to be picked is that right?
Crissie: We are, I think there’s only three of us.
Yes, Joan Armatrading and Ray Davies
Crissie: Yes, that’s right.
So you have your headlining tour in October. What can we expect that differs from the last? Any surprises? New songs?
Crissie: Do you know what? We are still working on festival season at the moment but we do want to step it up a gear for this next tour. We are still in talks with what we want to do to make it different from the last one and haven’t picked our support act or anything. We are really excited about it, the tours been selling really really well and Shepherds Bush has nearly sold out which is amazing.
It is amazing and of course many of us go to more than one show which is nice.
Who are you listening to in Country at the moment?
Crissie: I am loving Kelsea Ballerini’ album, some of her lyrics are great, her Second Hand Smoke song is just genius and Peter Pan. There are so many female driven songs which is really refreshing. I miss the big ballads from Faith Hill, Martina McBride and Leann Rimes. I was always singing them. Their songs are all really well written and vocally always really demanding, I love them.
Looking forward to Kip Moores new album too which is out soon.
Finally, could you describe your perfect Friday Night?
Crissie: Oh my perfect Friday night. Well, if I’m honest I would love to get all of my girlfriends together because I haven’t seen them in a long time. We are all professional musicians so we all gig on Friday nights so I would give anything to have all the girls off and all just go out and hit the town, probably London, and have a big night out and probably get a little drunk.
I don’t blame you. Well thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today, especially being my first interview
Crissie: Aww it’s been Lovely.
Interview by Hannah Compton.
The Shires Single All Over Again will be out August 21st on ITUNES.
You can also buy their debut album Brave on ITUNES for just 5.99 and is currently charting at number 12.
If you want Brave on CD, you can buy it at Amazon for just £8.00
They still have a few more festival dates including BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park
Information can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/eg5j5v
The Shires Headlining tour starts October 1st and all information and tickets are available here: http://www.theshiresmusic.com/
The Shires have also been busy this week with Radio appearances and they were interviewed by Jenny Faulkner on Lorraine on ITV This Thursday which can still be seen on ITV Player.