by Niamh Harrison
Hampshire and Nashville are not two places often associated with each other, but in Ward Thomas, the two worlds come crashing together. Through a fortuitous turn of events, a teacher of the twin sisters, Catherine and Lizzy, had old contacts in the Nashville country scene. This meant the girls were able to record their first album, From Where We Stand, which went on to win UK Album of the Year at the British Country Music Awards in 2014. From there it’s only gone up for the girls, with Sony picking up their second album, Cartwheels, which made music history last month in being the first British country album to reach number 1 in the UK album charts.
Both talented singers and instrumentalists, the girls harmonize beautifully and blend traditional country twangs with more contemporary pop/rock, following in the footsteps of giants like Fleetwood Mac, or early Taylor Swift. Introduced to country by their Canadian cousin, they cite the Dixie Chicks and Carrie Underwood as enormous influences - it is a mild surprise to hear the girls speak in interviews with an English accent after listening to the somewhat inevitable twang in the voice that singing country demands. From hits like Guilty Flowers and Carry You Home, these girls promise a good singalong evening, so head on over to the Phoenix on the 25th – I’ll see you there.