Last night (May 17th) the UK’s most successful country music act of all time Ward Thomas brought their Cartwheels tour to the Tramshed in Cardiff.
The night started with support act Wildwood Kin warming up the packed to capacity crowd at the Welsh venue. The UK folk/country trio consisting of two sisters and their cousin had a rousing reception from the audience and wowed with their guitar and drum skills. A really great start to the evening and the girls seemed to gain a host of new fans before they left the stage.
Around 30 minutes after Wildwood Kin exited, the main event kicked-off. The Tramshed was plunged into darkness to build the atmosphere. The crowd grew louder and just as fever pitch was reached, the girls’ soaring A Capella vocals filled the room as they began with an into of their latest single ‘Materiel’. It was a fantastic and unique start to a hit filled set and really proved that Ward Thomas’ vocals are strong enough to captivate a huge audience without the need of any music or even being on stage.
As the intro came to an end Catherine and Lizzy entered the stage from either side and kicked things off with the catchy ‘Dirt And Gold’ which got the crowd singing along from the start. The packed venue was rocking as the 23-year-old’s belted out hit after hit from their record breaking number 1 album ‘Cartwheels‘
With the capacity crowd in full voice the twin sisters brought things down a notch with a stunning acoustic set which saw them bring their band, Dan Gordon, Linus Fenton, Dave Baker, and Gabe Piers to the front of the stage. A set up which Catherine admitted was inspired by their idols The Dixie Chicks. During the intimate moment with the Cardiff audience their vocal harmonies held their fans spellbound and you could have heard a pin drop as everyone was silent listening to Ward Thomas’ voices singing a new version of ‘Proof’ and also an incredible cover of Years and Years’ ‘Shine’ which features on their new covers EP ‘A Shorter Story‘.
The captivating night also saw the twins premiere new music with two new songs. The first a beautiful ballad called ‘Breathe In’ which is all about the girls’ special twin bond and an up-temp pop/country track titled ‘I Believe In You’. During their second new song the audience were asked to join in by singing the lines ‘you’re on your way, yeah you’re’ as loud as they could. During this segment Catherine and Lizzy split the room in half for a harmonising contest. I’d like to believe Catherine’s side won, or maybe I’m just being biased because I was on her team.
Both new songs were received with huge applause and will both feature on their new album due for release next year.
They also performed a couple of tracks off their first LP ‘From Where We Stand‘ which added a touch of nostalgia to the evening and reminded everyone how far this super talented duo have come since their humble beginnings and self-released debut back in 2014.
After seeing Ward Thomas live last year at The Globe in Cardiff I have to say in the seven short months since then, they have really upped their performing skills. They now have a better banter with the audience at one point even picking out a father and son and thanking them for wearing cowboy hats, and there is much more movement on stage from the pair. It was fantastic to see how much their confidence has grown and it made for a wonderful gig.
Their vocals were insane and their harmonies spine-tingling. My only complaint is that their set wasn’t longer. I don’t think anybody wanted the girls to stop singing.
It was also a nice touch when Lizzy stopped halfway through to thank the fans for everything they have helped them achieve over the years. And the sisters also thanked their dedicated supporters for making their ‘Cartwheels’ record number 1 last year. It was a very sweet moment and one that endeared the duo even more to the massive crowd.
They closed their set with a foot stamping rendition of their massive hit single ‘Carry You Home’ and their voices were almost drowned out by the crowd’s singing. And after exiting the stage to rapturous applause the cheers grew louder and they returned to the spotlight for an encore of their hit ‘Push For The Stride’.
The concert was truly incredible with amazing lighting, great staging, wonderful atmosphere, a super talented band, and captivating vocals that left you wanting more.
After the show ended I left the venue and went to wait outside by the stage door. Where everyone was super nice about me waiting. After about an hour Catherine and Lizzy came out of their dressing room with their arms full of their tour clothes. When I asked for a selfie they were more than happy to put all their bags down and pose for a photo and while they could have easily made a quick exit after the picture was taken, they stopped and chatted for ten minutes and were super sweet and down to earth. I was even lucky enough to show them my ‘Push For The Stride’ tattoo which I had for my birthday in February and is in honour of the first Ward Thomas song I ever listened to.
Both girls were super excited about it and Lizzy even took a photo of my arm.
After talking to them and giving them a hug and thanking them for an amazing evening I walked back to their tour bus with them which was super cool of them to allow. We said our goodbyes with Catherine and Lizzy thanking me for coming to the concert. I am very grateful for how much time they took out to talk considering they must have been knackered after a busy night on stage. After interviewing them twice in the past via email it was awesome to finally meet them in person.
Was great to meet you!! Love the tattoo ???
— Ward Thomas (@wardthomasmusic) May 18, 2017
Tickets for the remainder of Ward Thomas’ UK tour are on sale now!
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