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Valentine Black / Blog

UK Song-writing Contest

Nice start to the New Year! I’ve just heard that my song ‘Retrospect’ was awarded a semi-finalist position in The UK Songwriting Contest, with a score of 7 out of 10. The Judges included award winning producers and songwriters like Stuart Epps who has worked with Led Zeppelin, George Harrison, Paul Weller, Oasis and Robbie Williams; Kipper Eldridge who has worked with Sting, Stevie Wonder and Gary Numan; and Richard Niles who has collaborated with Paul Mc Cartney and James Brown. According to the organisers, ‘a score of 7 and a semi finalist position are considered by the judges to be among the strongest songs in the contest.’ …..yay! Finalist next year:-)

Showcase for UK Music Industry March 23rd Dublin

Some exciting news! ‘Desire Lines’ has stirred some international interest. So we’re taking part in a SHOWCASE GIG for some influential PR agents and managers from the U.K., and Europe on March 23rd in The Sugar Club Dublin. They like what they hear on record and now want to see it live! That’s where we need you to make it an atmosphere they won’t forget! It is an all ticket affair, 10euro and available from me and the band. We only have 30 so get back to me through facebook or here or at valentineblackmusic@gmail.com. The gig itself will comprise of ourselves and 5 other great acts in a ‘Jools Holland’ type set up so should be really cool!

First album review on 2uibestow

COMPLETE REVIEW BELOW 'Impressive debut album from Kildare band Valentine Black. For a bit of PR gold this album is out on February 14th and would actually make a decent Valentines gift! Valentine Black's album 'Desire Lines' is like a homage to the 70s folk rock of Dylan, Bowie and Elton. However the one artist who comes to mind for comparison purposes while listening to the album is Billy Joel. The key thing with 'Desire Lines' is that while this isn't original music it's still a decent album filled with catchy songs, good vocals and fine lyrics.

Key tracks for me are 'A Town at the End of the World', the album opener 'The State We're In' and the wonderful album closer 'Love Oceans'. There's a number of love songs on the album which fits the whole 'Valentine's Day' launch. Lyrically the best song is the single from last year 'Take Me to Your Leader' which is a protest song against governments. The worst song lyrically is the mildly cringing 'More Than New York' but it's still not a terrible song. I fact there's no song that demands a quick skip to the next track. If you're a fan of good time folk rock with a tendency for the odd love song then this is up your street. It's an honest album of decent tunes that has me in complimentary mode yet it's not an album to get me excited! Valentine Black - Desire Lines [9 out of 12] by Peter Nagle on 2uibestow

Album finally on the way!!

Well folks, it's been a very long wait (probably more so for me than you!) but the album is finally being printed up as we speak. I can't wait to actually have it in my hand. The artwork looks amazing, thanks to Mr Dave Mc Dermott who is a bit of a genius in all fairness and very patient too! What with all my calls and emails ususally beginining with...'Ehhh hi Dave, I forgot just one little thing there on the inlay card'. Couple of gigs already confirmed, check out the giglist on reverbnation here or facebook band page. The main one being the pre-launch party in Whelans Upstairs on Friday February 10th. On the night there will be advance copies of the album available at almost half price! Also a very exciting event at the start of March (more details to follow). And even a couple of gigs in the States in mid March! Hopefully see you soon.

Another rockin show Upstairs at Whelans!!

Looking out the window at about 8 o'clock after all the soundchecks and just before the doors opened, up the stairs in Whelans on Friday last, was a little worrying. The Irish summer had just typically changed from a balmy 'lets go out Friday evening' to a scene from 'The Day after Tomorrow' as Wexford street looked like a river! However, we held off with the show for a wee bit and as the rain stopped the crowd began to trickle in. And by the time the brilliant Tod Doyle was half way through his rousing solo set there was already a good crowd of heads in the room and the atmosphere was building. Peter Doran was up next, standing in at the last minute for fellow Mullingar men Arrow in the Sky. Sporting a pair of brand new shoes neccessitated by the heavy rain (I told ya it was bad!), his set was extremely enjoyable dipping into material from his excellent two albums, all available on www.peterdoran.com. He congratulated the crowd on braving the weather and the atmosphere was growing helped by the survivalist nature of the evening and the sinking in of it being a Friday night in June. By the time we got up the crowd had really built up (which was very releiving for us!) and it felt like a proper hot and sweaty show. We played all the tunes off the forthcoming album and a few new songs too. Fair play to Mick the drummer who had to leg it up from a wedding in Kildare driven by logistics expert - Paddy Mac. Even if the first tune was delayed by him changing from his suit behind the drums! After the frist few songs it really kicked off and Take me to your leader was a highlight for me but the crowd singing along to 'In the dead of the night ' complete with handed out shakers was a fantastic buzz for us and ended the night on a great fun note. So thanks a mill for travelling (from the likes of Kildare, Laois, Clare, Budapest and Italy!!) and of course Dublin. Hopefully see you at the next one. Don't forget to download your free tunes if you joined the mailing list at www.reverbation.com/valentineblack and become a fan on facebook! All the best, VB

Bandwagon TV

Had a great time performing on Bandwagon TV recently. It's a brilliant idea, literally a moveable feast of music. It was quite early on a Saturday morning for us and there were quite a few hungover heads (and voices) but I think that probably suited the song. So check out 'In the dead of the night' live here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE9FtseQR5M Find the guys at www.thebandwagontv.com for all their latest videos of upcoming and established acts LIVE in a caravan! All the best, VB

Single well and truly launched at Whelans!

It was a Wednesday night in March the week after Paddy's weekend so we weren't expecting a huge crowd. So we were delighted to see the Upstairs of Whelans fairly well packed for the single launch of 'Take me to your leader'. Thanks a mill to everyone who came out, especially those who travelled from Kildare in buses, cars and whatever else! Special thanks to Tod Doyle, who was on first, for making the trip up from Limerick. His set was really good too. For one young man and a guitar he certainly got the crowd going. The wonderful Henrietta Game were up next and their harmonies and unusual line up (cello, violin, acoustic, harmonium, glokenspeil) was refreshingly different and yet very accessible and enjoyable. As for me and the lads, it was great to play the whole album, (which is on the way!) with a full 5piece band to a big and enthusiastic crowd. Building nicely since first single, roll on the album release and the summer! All the best, VB

Valentine Black plays live to half a million listenners!

Hey this Monday the 7th March I'll be live on The Pat Kenny show on RTE Radio 1 at about 11.15. Tune in to hear us play a few songs live and have a wee chat on a show with the biggest listenership in Ireland! http://www.rte.ie/radio1/todaywithpatkenny/