As the world has slowly started opening back up, music fans have begun heading back in the masses to watch artists performing for the first time up and down the country. And if you’re anything like me, not being able to pop and see some live music for the past year and a half has been its own form of torture.

So to find out that leading British country duo The Shires were heading back to Norwich, something they haven’t done since they performed at The Waterfront in 2015 and Taverham Hall in 2017, was just the icing on the cake of what has been a very difficult year.

Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes took to the stage at Epic Studios to perform what was an absolutely exquisite hour and a half of music.

Starting off the night with World Without You and All Over Again, it couldn’t have been more evident from the get go what a spectacular duo The Shires are. It’s rare to find two people that were absolutely meant to sing together, but here was a prime example of exactly that.

Their vocals are effortless, beautifully blending together to create a sound that is so completely perfect, something that we were all lucky to have witnessed. There’s no faulting their performance as they performed an array of songs from their four studio albums which had everyone dancing on their feet, waving their arms along and belting back the lyrics to the duo who looked so grateful to be back doing what they love.

We were also treated to brand new songs When it Hurts and Side by Side, which are likely to feature on their upcoming fifth album, before rounding off the night with an encore which included I Just Wanna Love You and A Thousand Hallelujahs. Both were met by a massive round of applause as they left the stage at the end of the night.

There’s something heartwarming about watching performers who are truly thankful for their fans. Ben and Crissie are so very humble and couldn’t be more deserving of the continued success that they have received - and more than earned.

I’ve said this on many an occasion, but The Shires are more than worth checking out if you are into your country and Americana music (and haven’t already come across them before). I’m certain that you won’t be disappointed.