Get behind the country

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A Sunderland band are bringing a country twang to the city’s music scene. Katy Wheeler finds out more.

COUNTRY music is big business in America, but a new five-piece are hoping to inject the genre with a Mackem sound.

Chloe and The High Tides are performing a whirlwind of gigs around the city in the coming months in the hopes that success will fall at their cowboy boot-clad feet.

Far from aping their country cousins across the pond, they’re wielding their own tunes and own accents – a formula which means their fan base is fast gathering pace.

At the helm is singer Chloe Chadwick who explains how the band came about.

“We’ve been together since November,” she said. “I’m originally from Stoke, but I came to Sunderland to do music. I’ve been writing music since I was 13 and I decided I wanted to put together a new kind of country band.

“I held auditions and then we locked ourselves away in a rehearsal room with an album full of music. We had our debut live gig at the Hastings Hill in March and haven’t looked back since.”

Chloe, who is also the band’s guitarist, is joined on stage by experienced musicians Dan Pietruszka (bass), Adam Beddow (guitar), John Forster (drums/percussion) and Luke Waterfield (fiddle).

Together they are peddling their sound, alt-country and pop, across the region.

Chloe said: “Unlike America, I don’t think enough people here have delved into country. But we don’t want to do that American country with an American accent thing.

“Instead we’re using our experiences and influences to deliver music with a country feel. It’s catchy, it’s poppy, it’s easy on the ear, it’s good for radio and we don’t think people need to like country to like us. We believe it will work. We just need people to get behind us.”

The band are inviting Wearsiders to come along to the launch of their EP, Rise and Shine, on August 4.

The event is free and will take place at Indigo Rooms, High Street West, from 8pm.

Chloe said: “We want to create a fan base and put original music from Sunderland on the map.

“There’s good original music out there, but more people need to get out there, enjoy the nightlife in the city, and listen to live music.”

Rise and Shine features four tracks from the band and is available to buy for £3 from their website and also from iTunes.

In the meantime, the band are in talks with record labels and are preparing to play the Country Music Festival in Wales this summer.

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