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Folkestone: The Shires, Britain's leading country act, play Kent with their new album Accidentally On Purpose

By Angela Cole

They’re the UK’s most successful country act of all time, with both of their first two albums certified Gold.

Now Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes of The Shires are releasing their third album, Accidentally On Purpose, and heading off on tour.

Their first album, Brave, became the first British Country album to enter the UK Top 10, and their second, My Universe, was the fastest-selling British country album of all time. The new album is a country-pop crossover and even has a song written for them by Ed Sheeran. Sleepwalk is the latest single, a heartfelt ballad, and the pair, who come to Folkestone this weekend, are proud of it.

The Shires will perform in Folkestone
The Shires will perform in Folkestone

“The moment we finished recording this track in Nashville, we knew it was special,” they said. “It’s a love song from both a male and female perspective with a really beautiful sentiment. To us it’s the perfect summer love song – and perhaps even a wedding first dance too.”

They added: “Accidentally on Purpose is full of personal songs that really sums up the whirlwind journey we’ve been on together. From the first day we met, we’ve been crazy dreamers with big plans, who really believed that Country could break into the UK mainstream. For all those dreams, we never imagined it would all happen so quickly.”

The Shires arrive in London handcuffed to one another
The Shires arrive in London handcuffed to one another

They launched their latest single last week at HMV in London, arriving handcuffed to one another. The pair will be supporting Michael Buble at British Summer Time in Hyde Park in July. In the meantime, they come to Folkestone’s Leas Cliff Hall this weekend.

The Shires play Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone on Friday, May 19 at 7pm. For tickets from £27.65, visit atgtickets.com/shows/the-shires/leas-cliff-hall/

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