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The Shires

There’s Nothing Like A Wednesday Night Fish and Chips with The Shires

Guest Contributor Hannah Compton


As most UK Country Music fans are aware, The Shires recently made UK Chart history by being the first UK Country act to make it into the top ten. Although we have all been celebrating since the announcement at C2C Festival, we were more than happy to keep the celebrations going. This, of course was a possibility when The Shires Announced they were holding a Brave Album Release/Top Ten Celebration party.

To have a chance of attending, you needed to pre order their album or more recently, enter online. Thankfully, my friends and I were all successfully given a place.

The Party was held on Wednesday March 25th at Poppies Fish and Chips shop in the heart of Camden. Yes, you read that right, a Fish and Chip Shop. Obviously, all of the fans understood the reference and the reason why it was being held there right away. I am of course referring to the lyrics from the song Made In England.

The Taste of vinegar and salt on my lips, nothing like a Friday Night Fish and Chips

As I travel quite far, I got to London early, met up with a friend and we arrived half an hour early to Poppies assuming a queue would be forming. However, this was not the case. We went inside just to ask when people were being let up and they said we could go up right away. Assuming that meant more people were up there, we were horrified that there weren’t. We had only gone and invaded the sound check. A few minutes of awkward standing later, the staff then ushered us back downstairs to add to the humiliation. Good thing I already had a few drinks and just found the situation funny.

As the minutes passed, a queue started to form. Every single person, a familiar face. When we were let back upstairs, we all grabbed a table and the atmosphere started to fill the room. We were provided with Complimentary Cod and Chips, which by the way, were delicious.

Mid mouthful, The Shires arrived and took to the stage. They thanked everyone for coming and for helping get their album Brave in to the Top Ten, how nice it was too see so many familiar faces, that it was like performing for family and then saying;

“We’re going to kick this off with Nashville Grey Skies”

A wonderfully intimate setting and no heads in the way as everyone was sat at a table, my only issue was trying to concentrate on the performance and my plate at the same time. We all managed it though and also sang along , obviously not whilst we were eating. That would not be pleasant.

Other songs they performed were:

Friday Night

All Over Again

State lines

Made In England – Lyrics changed to Wednesday Night Fish and Chips for us. Before the song started Ben explained how they first performed this song at The Borderline in London, supporting Striking Matches and everyone laughed at the lyrics. Ben went on to say, although they were happy with the response, they never set out to be a comedy duo.

Whilst Ben was tuning his guitar , Crissie asks us, the audience, if we are enjoying our dinner and how much she loves Gherkins. She then thanks Decca, the Label on organising the party in the place of Gherkins to which Ben responds that she has a Gherkin condition.

Other songs were:



Islands In The Stream
Young Hearts Run Free


The whole night was just as The Shires described, it was like being with family. Ben and Crissie never disappoint live and prove that a full band is not necessary on stage and they have the ability to make you get lost in the performance. Their stage presence, as ever, was fantastic and they always successfully get the audience involved. I for one did not want the night to end. Everyone there had such a laugh and another unexpected surprise was seeing Seal in the audience. Yes Seal, singer of Crazy, Killer and Kiss From A Rose. I heard he just came in for Fish and Chips and was invited upstairs. It was so nice to see such a legend be there for The Shires and he is now a fan. The temptation to go up to him and say
“But we’re never gonna survive unless, we get a little selfie” thankfully, for everyones sake, I didn’t.

When Ben and Crissie finished their set, they took a selfie with the audience and came off stage to chat to everyone.


After announcing their set lists were on napkins, they kindly gave one to me and one to Jamie.


Being prepared as usual, we brought things to sign and our friend with the Crazy big polaroid camera took pictures of us with The Shires.


Ben then took a photo of all of us with them and referred to us as the Super Fan table. They spoke to us for ages which was nice and then went back on stage to take photos with other fans too. I believe they knew everyone in the audience.

Overall, a great night that I wont forget. Fantastic music, fantastic band, great food with great company. You simply cannot fault it.

We can still help keep Brave at the top. So if you have not purchased yet, you can do so here:


Brave (Deluxe) by The Shires


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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