Vale may well be one of Belfast’s best kept secrets, hailing from the Greater Shankill area of Belfast. They are playing in some good company at the moment, having recently supported the likes of Lurgan’s finest, The Bonnevilles, and up- and-coming indie rockers Ferals. ‘Virtual Reality‘ marks their first release.
Notable for being the runners-up in 2018’s Clash of the New Breeds at the Oh Yeah Centre, they have a sound that belies their relatively tender years. Although the band cite old school influences including Queen, Joy Division, Pink Floyd, Metallica and Bob Dylan, Virtual Reality conjures up early Arctic Monkeys and is a punchy, driving slice of indie pop.
The sound is very much driven by the guitars of Adam Hendry (lead) and Brandon Esdale (rhythm) and is full of repetitive and catchy licks. Luke Baxter’s rock solid and soaring vocals are a perfect fit for the music and the pace is very definitely up tempo and dance oriented.
This is a band that gets better each time your hear them and should be one to watch over the coming year.