We first interviewed these young ladies when they were touring the UK in the summer of 2014, when they played in Exeter, we saw that they were on the bill for the Radio 2 Festival in a Day at Hyde Park this year so we thought it'd be a good idea to catch up with them 12 months on to see what they’ve been up to.
I was late arriving at the event (good old London public transport), I ran into the backstage area, the lovely lady from the BBC thrust a wristband on me and I was ushered into a room where the ladies were sat patiently waiting for me, I spluttered out my feeble apologies and got started….
Afternoon ladies, I was just coming into London and I had Radio 2 on and heard you do a wonderful version of ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac with The Shires, how did that go down?
It was incredible, we came back on after our set and played it as the last track with The Shires, the audience loved it, such a great atmosphere.
So, you've just played on the main stage at Hyde Park in front of goodness knows how many thousands of people, is this the largest audience you've ever played to?
Yes definitely, we’ve played plenty of festivals this year but none of them compared to this, we had an amazing summer but this was just the best way to close it for us. The audience were amazing, they were clapping and singing along and just having the best time.
How did it come about for you?
Were you invited to come and play or did you have to go through some sort of application process?
We were invited by Radio 2, I think that this year they have done so much with Country music and I think having us and The Shires doing a combined set was a great introduction to the UK Country sound and was a great way of opening the festival.
The last time we chatted, I asked you about how UK Country music was accepted and you said that it was a bit risky and almost a taboo subject, do you find that with it gaining more momentum over the past couple of years, people are slowly warming to it?
Definitely, as the years go on, we find that more and more people are getting into country music, more bands and artists are playing country music and every year at the Country to Country Festival, you just see it grow so much, we’ve been twice now and this year it was HUGE compared to the year before.
It's been exactly a year since we last spoke in Exeter when you were on tour, can you summarise the last 12 months for us?
I think what we just did was one of the highlights of the last 12 months! It’s all been a bit of a blur but of course there have been highlights, we managed to do 2 tours of the UK promoting our album and later the deluxe version and to see our fans coming to see us at the shows was amazing, we managed to get over to Nashville a few times and write with some incredible artists there.
You were in Nashville just before the album release doing the tourist thing I recall?
We were, we attended the CMA Global Live Showcase stage in June this year and it was great to perform in front of an American crowd and then come back to the UK and play again to English people, they’re very much 2 different sets of fans.
Do you think that Americans think differently to British acts performing country music?
We find that being English allows you to communicate better with your home crowd, I think that they find us interesting and probably because it’s American music but here’s a British act who enjoy it and are putting their own slant on it, some people told us that they found it really interesting and found it refreshing.
The last time we chatted, I asked you to describe each other in just 3 words, Lizzie said that Catherine is scatty (in a funny way), ditsy and chatty and Catherine said that Lizzie is crazy, funny and kind, would you like to change any of these or are they still correct?
Having given it some thought, I think we’ll stick to those words as try as we might, I don’t think we could come up with any others! Crazy is still going to be there for sure!
Are you still driving around in the Ward Thomas bus?
No we’re not! We now have a full band that we use all the time so we have a large van that we all travel around in.
Is it a luxury double decker with bedrooms and a Jacuzzi?
Not quite, it’s more of a van with a load of seats in the back and big enough to load the gear in!
You mentioned a larger band, do you still have the guitarist and drummer that you toured with last year?
Yes, we still have Dan (guitar), Dave (drums) and Linus (bass) - (Linus wasn’t with them when I saw them last year….MM)
Your debut album ‘From Where We Stand’ was released last year, when can your fans expect some new material from you?
We are busy writing new material right now, we played a few new tracks at the various summer festivals this year and they went down really well so we’re really excited about those, we hope to be able to start writing the album early next year.
Where are you planning on recording it?
We don’t really know yet, we’re thinking about doing it here in England, we’re wanting to record using a very ‘British’ sound and recording the album on home turf will allow us to do just that.
Ladies, thank you so much for your time, go out, grab a Pimms and enjoy the rest of the day!
You're welcome, thanks so much for stopping by!
So there you have it folks, Catherine and Lizzie from Ward Thomas, fresh after their set at the Radio 2 Festival in a Day at Hyde Park in central London. We wish them both the very best for the future and I am looking forward to hearing some of that new material that they played this summer when they release their 2nd album, early in 2016.
Please spend a few minutes checking out their social media sites, they're all listed below, all you need to do is point and click....
Steve Muscutt interviewed Ward Thomas at Hyde Park in central London.