Ward Thomas, Islington Assembly Hall, review: The twins trying to make country music cool

The tunes might be catchy and the lyrics endearing, but I suspect the sisters have a way to go before they win over Taylor Swift's fans

The UK’s answer to Taylor Swift, Ward Thomas is on a mission to make country music cool.

Guitars slung casually over their shoulders twins Catherine and Lizzy croon out country numbers as though they were born and raised in Nashville. Odd, considering they actually herald from Hampshire.

On stage, the sisters are charming, if bordering on twee. They take it in turns to introduce songs, dedicate one rather syrupy number, “Who We Are”, to their mother and “all the parents out there”, and generally bop about the Islington Assembly Hall stage as though they’re having a whale of a time.

If the take-home message here was that country can be young and hip, the sisters all but pull it off. They have clever lyrics, natty outfits and a sound that is so toe-tappingly tempting it was impossible not to sing along - particularly during Push For The Stride, where audience participation was encouraged.

The crowd, however, was almost entirely made up of parents and grandparents, the children of whom were presumably at home weeping over Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction.

The tunes might be catchy and the lyrics endearing, but I suspect the sisters have a way to go before they win over Taylor’s fans.

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