Valentine Black is the alter ego of Kildare musician Peco Mc Loughlin. Having fronted a number of bands, most recently indie-rockers Bright Light Fiasco who enjoyed success with two top 40 singles, Peco decided to go solo in late 2008. He’s been writing and demoing songs since and is currently recording his debut album which is due for release in Summer 2011. The lead single off which, ‘Retrospect’ was released in October 2010, with some glowing reviews (see press) and his new politically charged single ‘Take me to your leader’ is being released on March 12th 2011 as a free download on facebook.com/valentineblack.
He has already created quite a bit of interest making the heats of The JD Set in 2009, being selected in May 2010 for youngrebel.co.uk‘s international playlist and playing the live heats for Phantom FM’s ‘Next Becks Thing’ in August 2010. He performed a number of well received showcases at Indie Week Canada in October 2010. And he was recently selected as a ‘YouTube Superstar’ on KC’s show on Today FM.
Although an album has not yet been released, his single and earlier demos have received airplay on a number of national, Dublin, regional and internet radio stations including Today FM, Phantom, Limerick’s 95 LiveFm, KCLR, KFM.
Songs on the forthcoming album are about everything from state and church corruption to the old chestnuts of love, loss, life and even murder! The music is influenced by classic artists like Bowie, Dylan, Springsteen, Young, The Clash, and more contemporary acts like Arcade Fire, The National, Elbow, Radiohead and James to name a few.
Over the years he has shared the stage with a number of major artists, supporting acts like The Waterboys, Mundy, Bell X-1, Damien Dempsey, Duke Special, The Blizzards, The Coronas, Luka Bloom, Gerry Fish, Dirty Epics, Aslan and Something Happens to name a few. With the release of his debut album shortly he hopes to take the next step up on the bill!
Jackie Hayden; Hot Press journalist, music industry expert and the man who discovered U2 once described Peco as ‘incomparable…a wizard and a true star’.
‘Classic yet fresh musical style…displays strong talent and potential…
The Great American Song Contest 2010
Although Valentine’s songs of love and dissidence may be simple- they’re passionate. There’s a very honest quality about his playing that makes you want to listen to what he has to say…. songs like “The State We’re In” (it’s a mess), about Valentine’s home country Ireland… For the band’s last song of the night, they were able to achieve a real crowd-pleaser that had the whole crowd singing and clapping along to a murder ballad called “In The Dead Of The Night”.
From ‘Our pick of the of Thursday night action at Indie Week 2010 in Toronto Canada’.
Natascha Malta – Musicvice.com
‘His “Retrospect” single features country fundamentals like the pedal steel and acoustic guitar, but later explodes into a Damien Rice-esque opus that also resembles Elbow.’ chartattack.com Sept 2010
‘Valentine Black is a treat for the soul as well as the ears, particularly if you have come to lose faith in the millions of unsigned acts out there…It is clear that his influences come from the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young…however he doesn’t attempt to be his heroes but merely incorporates their essence into his own kind of music. ’
clairekanedub.wordpress.com July 2010
‘He can dip in and out of various musical genres…rockabilly/early Beatles mode…moody atmospheric rock…tasty acoustic singer/songwriter terrain with a little of the vocal style of Harry Chapin…’
‘One doesn’t like to compartmentalise does one? But this young man and his band’s last performance made me think of late sixties west coast U.S. sounds injected with original new millenium grooves. Great Live Act!’
“…Bob Dylan with a new set of lungs…”
‘Valentine Black has stepped outside the boundaries of song-writing with his new project after branching off from Bright Light Fiasco, OK maybe there are too many folk singers, buskers and rock star wannabes out there but Valentine Black’s demo EP has a real 70′s feel with Joni Mitchell styled lyrics…I feel there is room for this style of music on today’s scene…interesting stuff. 4 out of 6 Stars
‘Reminiscent of the Frames …Peco has a great voice – it’s that glamorous, heartrending folk sound born of years busking nowhere pubs…this sounds fresh and vital…”
Musicunsigned, the influential UK website compared the songs to, “David Gray or Counting Crows with its rootsy pop undertones… intelligent pop music lyrically drawing on the timeless songs of Van Morrison and Dylan…”