Category Archives: Live gig

Carrie Underwood with The Shires.

Sunday 30th June 2019, tonight I’m at the Motorpoint in Cardiff City Centre, to watch Carrie Underwood live in concert, with support from the Shires.

First off The Shires with a superb 40 minute set. Ben and Chrissie were the perfect warm up act, also my favourite band in Britain, (along with Ward Thomas). They really got the crowd on their feet, playing all their classic upbeat songs, along with ‘Daddy’s little girl’, sung so beautifully by Chrissie, which brought a few tears to my eyes.

I’ve seen these guys 4 times now, they just get better and better with every performance. Ben and Chrissie just have outstanding voices and combine so well together on all the songs they have written and performed. The audience agreed, giving them a standing ovation. Tonight their set went so quickly, could have listened to these guys all night, really can’t wait to see them again on their next tour. The perfect start to a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

Next up Carrie Underwood, and the first thing you notice was her incredible voice. Her set lasted about a hour and half, her voice was as good at the end as it was on her first number. For me that’s the sign of an excellent vocalist doing an amazing job. I was so impressed with the show and the superb standard of Carrie and her band, musicians of the highest order, never putting a foot wrong throughout and treating a jam packed audience to an incredible night of music.

One of the highlights was when Carrie bought on a local singer from South Wales to sing ‘The Champion’ with her, a young girl called Caitlin, who was outstanding, getting a huge ovation from the audience.

I have to admit I only knew a fraction of the songs played tonight, but when you have a voice as good as Carrie’s you quickly fall into the mesmerising nature of the music played before you. Pure class sums it up perfectly.

The whole night was really special for me, showcasing some of the best voices in popular music today. Watching The Shires again and the rare chance to see Carrie Underwood I’m Cardiff was just superb, a truly amazing night, one I will never forget in my lifetime.

Ward Thomas.

Monday 4th March 2019, different venue tonight, I’m at St David’s Hall in Cardiff City Centre for a performance with the absolutely superb ‘Ward Thomas’ along with another great band, ‘The Wandering Hearts’. Two extremely wonderful acts in their own right.

First up is ‘The Wandering Hearts’ with a superb 30 minute set full of some amazing recordings. The three lead voices are so good to listen to live, very distinctive singers with the two girls sending out wonderful harmonies in their routine, culminating in ‘Devil in Disguise’ one of my favourite songs of the past few months. Didn’t want them to end, they were just so good. Look forward to another opportunity to watch this band grow and hopefully tour again in the next few years

Along with the Shires, Ward Thomas are my two favourite recording artists of the present day. Both bands style of music is just exceptional, giving the country scene a huge lift for the uk.

You have to see these two sisters live, they are better than the cd’s they make. Exceptional voices brought together to give us some pretty amazing songs. The night went so quick, you felt they could have gone on singing all night, and if they did I would have stayed and just relaxed In their presence, enjoying just how brilliant they were. They seem to sing effortlessly, creating some phenomenal harmonies between them, with their distinctive beautiful voices.

The girls performed most of their set showcasing the superb new album ‘Restless Minds’, while throwing in a sample of their recent material, from time to time. Highlights of the set seeing the girls duetting with guitars, totally showing just how incredible and together they are, really saying to the audience this is how to sing on total harmony, beautiful just beautiful, must admit to a few years of joy during this section.

Really enjoyed the whole night, stunning singing throughout, superb work from the backing bands. An evening of two awesome performances.

The Shires (supported by Sinead Burgess).

Monday 14th May 2018, another extended weekend for me, with no show on Saturday, I’m heading for St David’s Hall in the City centre, for an evening of superb music with one of my favourite bands of the moment, ‘The Shires’. As usual I’m in Cardiff early for a walk around the bay, with camera, on this beautiful sunny day making the most of my extra day off. I’ve now seen ‘The Shires’ three times in the past few years, I love the style of music they write, bringing British Country music into the limelight, along with another of my favourite bands, Ward Thomas, both bands are superb, with their live sets a must see.

Tonight’s support artist is Sinead Burgess, a singer/songwriter from Australia. A very talented individual with a superb voice. Every song she sang was just so beautiful, so impressed by her half hour set, would definitely like to hear more. One for Bob Harris Country in the near future, maybe even do a recording session on his show. I’d like to hear that if it ever came about.

The Shires were totally awesome tonight, they get better everytime I hear them. Ben and Chrissie have superb individual voices which are also phenomenal when they team up, which is the case for most of their songs. Tonight’s was the best I’ve seen, the more albums they record, the more fantastic material they have to offer. The lighting for the show was also something to behold, along with an excellent band backing them up. In all a fabulous evenings entertainment, and the best thing as well, I get to hear them again this week on Bob Harris Country on Thursday at its new time of 8pm on Radio 2. Can’t wait for The Shires to come back to Cardiff once more.

Ward Thomas.

Wednesday 17th May 2017, with an afternoon off work to visit the Tramshed in Cardiff, for a chance to watch the fabulous Ward Thomas.  I have been so looking forward to seeing these girls perform live, since I first heard their songs on Radio 2, (god bless Bob Harris country). With The Shires already one of my favourite bands of the moment, Ward Thomas are up there with them. The amazing harmonies the girls seem to create around each other are just phenomenal.

First up tonight, the support band, Wildwood Kin. A band made up of three girls, all related, from Devon, who were just fabulous. These up and coming Country bands are getting better and better, they sound amazing live.  Beautiful harmonies from all three and they play all their own instruments. The half hour they played on stage was perfect, it went so quick, I could have listened to these girls for ages.  I don’t watch many live gigs, but I would pay to go and see these perform again. Very impressed with Wildwood Kin.

    Next up Ward Thomas. Oh my god, how good are these girls live. Absolutely fabulous, so impressed with their voices, it’s like they were singing off the cd. With a brilliant backing band behind them, a light show to be proud of and a glorious sound system, Ward Thomas did not disappoint. Every song they sung tonight was perfect, live bands rarely sound as good as these did tonight. With the Shires, The Corrs and now Ward Thomas I’ve seen three incredible live band.
    The music was again superb. Cartwheels is a fabulous album and most of the songs were done tonight, with a new one, a few covers and and a track from the fist album. In all a brilliant night, well worth a visit to see them on tour. If you get the chance go, they are excellent.

    Caroline Sheen.

    Friday 21st April 2017, another day off from work today, so a chance to visit the Millenium centre in Cardiff Bay, to watch Caroline Sheen live in Ffresh, a restaurant and cabaret venue based at the Centre. This is my first ever visit to this bar, as a music venue, so to prepare I’m going to watch Act one of Sister Act in the Donald Gordon Theatre, before venturing down to Ffresh for the rest of the evening’s entertainment.

    Caroline is a Welsh actress and singer who has appeared in countless West End shows and touring productions in her career to date. She has a fabulous singing voice, having seen her a few times in various shows over the past few years. I have to say her role in the Centre’ s production of ‘Only the Brave’ was phenomenal. That was my first show I’d seen all 8 performances, and was probably one of the best musicals I have ever seen. 

    To tonight’s performance by Caroline, Wow, what a voice she has. When your in a small room with a small audience and a piano you have to be good. Tonight Caroline’s voice was exceptional, a real pleasure to sit in a small delightful setting and listen to her belt out some fabulous tunes. One of my favourite songs ‘On my own’ from Les Mis had me in tears, with her rendition of the song, which was so beautifully sung, reminding me of my trip to Queens to watch this amazing musical, Caroline brought it all back tonight. Everything she sang sounded brilliant. Just so good to listen to, very impressed with the first act, beautiful is a word I use frequently in my blogs, and it definitely gets loads of mention’s tonight.

    The whole show was amazing, Caroline just shone on every song she sung. Another of my favourite songs ended the show, a fabulous rendition of ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins, again brought tears to my eyes, with her fabulous voice again just hitting the right spot. With help from her Pianist ‘Andrew Hopkin’ the night was totally brilliant for me, I would say to anyone reading his to go and see her in the Centre on Saturday, it’s well worth a visit to hear a fabulous Welsh musical singer, live in Cardiff. A tremendous night and one I will never forget in long time. 

      The Shires.

    Thursday 24th November 2016. After my visit to the Bay for the Full Monty, I’m off to Saint Davids Hall in Cardiff to watch the absolutely brilliant country band, The Shires. Can’t wait to see this band. After watching them support the Corrs earlier in the year, it’s great to see them out on their own as the headline band.

    I have to admit that ‘The Shires’ along with ‘Ward Thomas’ are my two favourite musical artists (bands), at the moment. Both of them are producing such amazing music at this time. I just hope this trend continues as the years go on, it’s so good to hear new bands making a massive difference to the style of music being produced, and putting British Country music on the world stage.

    So onto tonight’s performance, Firstly we have Canaan Smith, an American country artist, as supporting act for the Shires. And wow this guy was brilliant. Fantastic to hear authentic music live in Cardiff. He sang about 6 songs in his repertoire, for the evening. Great voice and achieved with only two guitars. An appreciative audience of country fans helps as well. I think I would like to hear more of this guy. Maybe a few more visits to Bob Harris country show on Radio 2, just a hint if he’s reading this. 

    Moving on to the main reason I’m here tonight, The Shires. And I must say they were absolutely brilliant. An hour and a half went so quickly, I never wanted it to end. The voices of Ben and Chrissy were just immense, belting out loads of songs from both albums. I feel really privileged to be at the hall for this fabulous gig. 

    The band were also brilliant, backing up the main guys with ease. The fast songs were punchy and just full of life. Although I must admit to a tear in my eyes for ‘Naked’,  ‘Daddy’s little girl’, and ‘Brave’. Not to mention a brilliant cover of Robbie Williams song ‘Angels’, which I would say, sung it better than Robbie did. I even heard this live on Chris Evans breakfast show, and it was fabulous then.

    Singing live is not straightforward, but ‘The Shires’ tonight made it look so easy, with a huge crowd getting behind them, it was probably one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. Matching the Corrs earlier in the year. And who were the suport band then, only ‘The Shires’. Brilliant just brilliant. Long may this band continue to make superb music, and fantastic albums.