Instagram link presents

a double headliner w/


plus guest


– Upstairs –

The Shires and Ward Thomas have just announced details of co-headlining Irish Tour dates Upstairs at Whelan’s on 19 November and McHughs on 20 November.

Tickets for Whelan’s are priced €12 inclusive of booking fee and go on sale tomorrow morning, 8 August at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets and


The groundswell of interest in country music in the UK is now officially unstoppable. But 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.

The duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes has swiftly become one of the real buzz bands of 2014. Getting together as recently as 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 event that confirmed the wave of interest in the country genre, the second annual Country 2 Country Festival at London’s 02 Arena.

Now The Shires are ready to gig, and 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.



We were born in 1994 in London after much effort and a long wait on our parent’s part. Together with our elder brother, we grew up on a livestock farm in Hampshire, England. There is a strong seam of creativity on both sides of our family. Our grandmother wrote over forty novels and our great-grandfather was an inventor. Our parents were in a band together and Mum has become a well-recognized painter. Today, our brother is an actor and a playwright.  So friends aren’t surprised that singing is what we love to do most in life. The fact that we choose to sing Country music needs a little more explanation.

Our lives haven’t always been perfect or easy. Our parents went through a divorce when we were twelve. We had our share of family tiffs and a broken heart or two along the way, but those are the growing pains that inspired us to think and write about life beyond the fields. However it is our early years of living on the farm that give us our country roots: Cows, chickens, pigs and goats have the same language in rural England as they do below America’s Mason-Dixon line.  So we write and sing about family, friends and the stories that make life real – true Country music.

So that is the beginning of our story. Thanks for listening. No matter what country you call home, we hope you’ll want to join us on our journey.



The Rising are a Country/Rock, Pop/Rock band from Northern Ireland. They have just released their debut Album “Coming Home’ (Renegade Maverick Records/Absolute/Universal Music Group), with the lead single “Still Coming Home To You” being picked up by BBC Radio 2 with the likes of Graham Norton, Alex Lester and Steve Wright championing the track. It has also gained extensive airplay in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Formed from the ashes of former band EXIT. Then a four piece, who released a string of well received EPs and were championed by the likes of Kerrang Magazine. But something wasn’t right, the band strived to make music that was less rowdy and more refined, to replace the overt rock mannerisms with subtle pop stylings and embracing a new roots-based direction. Bringing together a mixture of Pop sensibilities and the polished country nuances of Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift. This is reflected in the fact the band worked with Grammy Winning Engineer Hank Williams who is famed for his work with the aforementioned Urban, Swift and Lady Antebellum. To cement this change the band choose to rebrand completely and named themselves after a Bruce Springsteen album that inspired all members of the band.

In a short period of time the band have secured the support of the press, media and industry tastemakers all praising the band “A glorious amalgamation of Rock, Country and Folk – Jim Gellatly”.


€12 available online from WAV Tickets [Lo-Call 1890 200 078], prices may vary from other outlets. (50c per ticket service charge applies on phone or creditcard bookings)

Strictly over 18′s, I.D. may be required.


Whelan’s Silent Disco from 10:30pm – 2 DJs, just pick the one you like best [Free Entry] plus Late Bar.