The Shires - more than a little country

The Shires on stage are always more than just country. They're a very British band (and proud of it), taking influences from Nashville and adding some real ale and grey skies.

What Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes produce is a great show from their two albums - Brave and My Universe.

Earle and Rhodes are justifiably proud of their recent signing to Dot Records in America, but playing Bedford Corn Exchange to a packed house was obviously also a moment of pride.

The new band behind the duo are growing into their role - particularly with the addition of a new guitar. Country has never been my chosen music, but The Shires bring humour and honesty that's easy to like. And the songs are catchy, too.