Valley of Poets ready to plug in and share stage with revered performer
A DERBY band will be taking to the stage alongside Ivor Novello winner Joan Armatrading for the opening of an action-packed night of top music.
Earlier this year, Valley of Poets, a three-piece alternative rock band, spotted a request posted by the popular singer/songwriter inviting local bands to put themselves forward for a slot on her autumn tour of the UK.
"Our drummer, Peanuts, saw the advert and we decided to have a go," says Valley of Poets vocalist Michael Gatt.
"We sent in a track called Across the Bar and were pleasantly surprised to be hear that we had been chosen out of several other Derby bands who had applied for her Assembly Rooms show."
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Over the summer, the band travelled to Liverpool's Anfield football stadium to meet Joan and other bands from all over the UK, who had been also chosen to take part in the tour. On top of the live performances, all 56 bands could also record a track each for a compilation album.
The three-disc CD, released on the Hypertension record label, will be available for sale at all the venues on the tour.
Valley of the Poets, who have been together for two years and also feature bass guitarist Henrik Marshall-Sims, see this as a fantastic opportunity to raise their profile and to gain some experience of playing a large venue.
"It will be a great experience," says Michael. "Our music is very different from Joan's so we weren't very hopeful of being chosen but here we are. We have a 15-minute slot and we really will make the most of it."
Valley of the Poets say their main musical influences are Minutemen, Firehose, Primus, Pixies, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Fugazi.
They describe their sound as "an intoxicating mix – hybrid elements of funk, jazz and acid rock with a distinctive post-punk veneer."
Joan says she is delighted to be able to provide a helping hand to the country's up and coming talent by giving them chance to support her in their home town.
"There are some very excellent singers and songwriters out there but it can be difficult for bands to make that vital step up and reach a wider audience," she says.
WHAT: Joan Armatrading supported by Chris Wood and local band Valley of the Poets.
WHERE: Assembly Rooms, Derby
WHEN: Tomorrow, 7.30pm
BOX OFFICE: Call 01332 255800