Coffee House Sessions presents: The Shires

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Coffee House Sessions is a dynamic initiative that exposes the best in upcoming music talent to the student market via acoustic daytime performances in university coffee shops. Launched by Coalition Talent in 2013, this innovative promotional and marketing platform injects life back into the live music scene across universities. The sessions kick off with The Shires, featured in the latest issue of Maverick Magazine. Country music is experiencing a surge of interest in the UK, and 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. Duo Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have swiftly become one of the buzz bands of 2014. Getting together 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 second annual Country 2 Country Festival at London’s 02 Arena. This event confirmed the huge wave of interest in the country genre. 24 hours later, they were performing at a prestigious London reception held jointly by BBC Radio 2 (who’ve declared their enthusiastic early support for the duo), and the Country Music Association. The following morning, they were on a plane heading for their first song writing sessions in Nashville. Two days on, Ben and Crissie were featured in the Radio 2 documentary ‘Nashville UK,’ celebrating the continuing rise of country on these shores. The thoroughly refreshing debut single ‘Nashville Grey Skies’ is just the first taster of the album they will record. Both Ben and Crissie are self-declared admirers of the craftsmanship of country song writing, but don’t be deceived – they’re as far from some twangy tribute act as you could get. Powered by Crissie’s powerful but subtle and supple vocals and Ben’s perfectly complementary tones and acoustic guitar, The Shires have found a piece of country to call their own. They love American music, but are proudly British and intensely keen to add some real indigenous flavour to the pot. The song ‘Made In England’ is a perfect example – a real celebration of all things British. Now The Shires are ready 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. Tour Summary: Tuesday 30th September 2014 University of Bedfordshire, The Lounge – 12.30pm Queen Mary University London, Ground Café – 3pm University of Essex, SU Bar – 6pm Wednesday 1st October 2014 University of London, Student Central – 6pm Thursday 2nd October 2014 Loughborough University, SU Piazza – 12pm De Montfort University, SU Bar – 1.30pm University of Derby, Academy Bar – 3pm University of Warwick, Curiositea – 5.30pm Friday 3rd October 2014 University of Bath, The Plug Bar – 1pm Bath Spa University, SU Bar – 2.30pm Monday 6th October 2014 Keele University, Blend – 12pm Manchester Metropolitan University, SU Bar – 2.30pm University of Liverpool, Starbucks – 5pm Tuesday 7th October 2014 Nottingham Trent University, The Lounge – 12pm University of Sheffield, Raynor Lounge – 3pm Wednesday 8th October 2014 University of Bradford, Student Central – 1pm University of Leeds, Terrace Bar – 3.30pm Thursday 9th October 2014 University of Teesside, The Terrace Bar – 1pm University of Northumbria, Reds Bar – 3pm Friday 10th October 2014 University of Stirling, Underground – 12pm University of Strathclyde, The Priory – 1.30pm University of St. Andrews, Rector’s Café – 5.30pm

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