THERE probably isn't a bigger act that bucks the misconception of what country music is than The Shires.
They aren't American and their songs aren't about dirt roads or driving pick-up trucks.
The English duo were the first UK act to be signed to a major Nashville label, and this weekend they graced the CMC Rocks Queensland stage.
When speaking to the QT Ben Earle had his dreadlocks pulled back and Crissie Rhodes spoke with a thick English accent - the pair are deeply proud of their UK heritage.
"When we sat down we talked about the kind of music we wanted to make and we talked about what country is," Earl said.
"And really, at the core of it is honesty.
"So when we wrote, we said let's only write about what's honest for us - because that's what country is for us.
"What we have learned is, it doesn't matter where you are, everyone is the same. We have all had issues, we have all loved someone, and you know, we have all got drunk."
Their lyrics refer to fish and chips and milky tea, and so far their country style has been a hit with Australian fans.
While it's been a hot and humid few days in Ipswich, the Brits said they were enjoying the heat.
"We were talking about this on the way over here, you know when you listen to songs like Zac Brown Band's Toes in the Water or Jack Johnson, you are right there on a beach with them," Rhodes said.
"You can feel it.
"We don't get that opportunity to write those summer-time songs because they are kind of non-existent at home.
"So I think the warm sunshine has been a nice influence on us."
So far it's been a whirlwind trip in Australia - Rhodes is desperate to cuddle a koala but hasn't yet had the chance.
The pair said it was humbling how CMC Rocks fans had welcomed them.
"Yesterday, we wanted to see our friends Ward Thomas play," Rhodes said.
"We just wanted to stand out in the crowd, Ben was like 'no one will recognise us', and we actually got mobbed. We didn't get to catch any of the girls' set in the end.
"Everyone was just really excited to see us and they wanted to take photos with us, and sign their bellies or T-shirts, so that was fun."
The Shires play again tonight at 3.05pm.
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