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Tuesday, Sep 23 2014 | 12:19 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

The ValsLed by songwriter Paul Doherty, The Vals span across many genre’s with their upbeat melodic sounds. Formed in Belfast, the band has seen many line-up changes in its short history with Doherty the only constant member. In 2009 they released their debut album ‘Sticks and Stones’ via Electrique Mud, a subsidiary of Unique Records based in Dusseldorf, Germany.

With Electrique Mud they released the singles ‘Yesterday Today’, ‘With You’ and ‘Things Will Always Be the Same’. In October 2009 they released the album ‘Sticks and Stones’ which was recorded in just three days in Duisburg, Germany and received rave reviews from parts of the music press for its unashamed take on 60’s pop, citing songwriting comparisons to the days of Lennon, McCartney, Davies and Townsend.

First single ‘Yesterday Today’ was used in an episode of popular German soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (English: Good Times, Bad Times). The number one show has peaked at 7 million viewers since its first airing in 1992. The single also had heavy airplay on various stations worldwide including BBC Radio One.

Their second single ‘With You’ was nominated for ‘Single of the Week’ on BBC Radio 2’s The Mark Radcliffe & Stuart Maconie Show.

To coincide with the release of their debut album, the band played a European tour which took in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and the UK. Major festival appearances ensued including the famous Haldern Pop Festival, Burg Herzberg, Golzheim Fest, Hard Working Class Heroes and many more throughout this period. In 2010 they headlined the famous 100 Club in London just weeks before former Beatle Paul McCartney headlined his own show in order to save the then threatened building.

During the promotion of the ‘Sticks and Stones’ album the band shared the stage with Ocean Colour Scene, Echo and the Bunnymen, Mumford and Sons, Hawkwind, Horslips, The Proclaimers, David Holmes, Bon Iver, Turin Brakes, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Jeff Beck, Peter Green and many more.

In their home city of Belfast, The Vals have graced some historical venues with their shows including Belfast City Hall, St George’s Market and the Ulster Hall. The band also celebrated Belfast hosting the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards by taking part in Belfast Music week. In 2013 they had the honour of taking part in the City of Culture celebrations in Derry, performing for RTE’s ‘Other Voices’.

Yoko Ono contacted Paul Doherty after she learned of a festival he had organised in Belfast under the banner of ‘Peace and Love’. ‘Valfest’ seen The Vals appear alongside Thin Lizzy founding member and guitarist Eric Bell and Henry McCullough. Yoko sent her message when the festival was organised in Belfast in 2008. An event which helped raise money for local charity. The message from Yoko included: “You will know, now that you are doing the Peace and Love Festival, you are connected to all of us, the family of peace of the world.”

In 2011 The Vals collaborated with former Paul McCartney and Wings guitarist Henry McCullough on the single ‘Look to the One’. McCullough lent his famous guitar sound and vocals to the track which gained much success and heavy radio play upon its release.

In 2014 The Vals are back with ‘Wildflower Way’, a dreamy album comprising of some of their best work to date. Expect colour!

(Photo by Stefan Duerr)

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