Belfast Band The Vals span many genres with their upbeat melodic sounds. Whilst the line-up has changed many times in their short history one constant has remained, that of charismatic lead singer/songwriter Paul Doherty.
They recorded their debut album “Sticks and Stones” in 2009 in just three days, unashamedly taking influence from 1960’s pop, and it spawned the singles “Yesterday Today”, “With You” and “Things Will Always Be The Same”. The second single from the album “With You” was nominated as “Single of the Week” on BBC Radio 2’s (and now BBC Radio 6 Music) Radcliffe and Marconie Show.
Front man Paul Doherty explains “Big influences for me would be songwriters like Roy Wood, Ray Davies, Brian Wilson, Jeff Lynne, Lee Mavers from The La’s, and the The Beatles. Being around Paul Weller for all of those weeks really had a big influence on all of us though I think. Music just flows through him. Some of the first songs I learned on guitar were his and to get recognition from him was pretty cool.”
They have played the festival circuit in Europe including Haldern Pop Festival, Burg Herzberg, Golzheim Fest and many more. The band have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music including Ocean Colour Scene, Mumford and Sons, The Proclaimers, David Holmes, Turin Brakes, Jeff Beck and many more.
“Well, we are just back from a massive European Tour with Paul Weller. It seems very strange even saying that in a sentence. It was incredible.” said Paul. “We found out we were supporting Paul in the middle of a long tour of our own so it seems as if we have been on the road forever. We love it though, we are spreading our music far and wide and getting amazing feedback. We are off again to Germany in July then Italy later in the year. In between though, work has begun on a new album. We look forward to playing some new tracks during our upcoming shows in Belfast this month and next.”
“Valfest”, a music festival which saw the band appear alongside Thin Lizzy founding member Eric Bell and Henry McCullough, was organised by Paul Doherty in 2008 to raise money for local charities, drawing praise from none other than Yoko Ono for the festivals “Peace and Love” message.
In 2011 The Vals collaborated with former Paul McCartney and Wings guitarist Henry McCullough on the single “Look to The One”. The much acclaimed album “Wildflower Way” was released in 2014 and is credited as being their best work to date. It won Best Album at the “London Galaxy Awards” and reach Number 2 in the Japanese charts.
2015 has seen The Vals biggest tour to date, being handpicked to support the legendary Paul Weller on the European leg of his tour, winning over audiences in France, Belgium, Germany and Holland but more so fulfilling a dream of sharing a stage with one of their idols.
You can catch The Vals at The Black Box in Belfast on Friday 19th June 2015 at the Ethiopaid fundraiser with The Dandy Horses and Peter McVeigh. Tickets are priced at just £5 so a chance to hear some great music and help raise money for a worthy cause.