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Gig Review: ValeFest Launch Party 2018

By | Published March 19, 2018

It’s that time of year again, where Birmingham’s up-and-coming bright sparks light the ValeFest torch and ignite the excitement for UoB’s very own summ

er festival. Taking to Beorma Bar for their official launch party, the ValeFest crew put on a jungle themed night of live music on Friday night to campaign Europe’s biggest student-run charity festival.The evening was kicked off by New Street Records’ very own Y4S, the alter-ego of Yasmin Ibison, who provided a funky DJ set; this was followed by an acoustic slot from fellow labelled indie outfit DAME, who are no strangers to ValeFest having played last year and are about to release new singles ‘Habit’ and ‘Bite’.

There was a great atmosphere in the upstairs hideaway of the guild, where the ever-present excitement for the festival oozed throughout the room and wavy jungle garms were abundant in every corner of the eye. The launch party came off the back of ValeFest Déjà Vu in January, an evening of live music held at the Bristol Pear throwing back to ValeFest 2017. The same buzz from the ValeFest committee and bands could be found at the guild Friday night, where Brum-based indie rockers Summer Daze then took to the stage. Playing some originals aswell as a cover, 3 of the group brought their “dancey-indie-rock-wonder” sound (as put by Redbrick).

Portobello then graced the stage, a newly-formed UoB seven-piece who take inspiration from the likes of Tom Misch and John Mayer, and delivered a groovy set to the audience. They were swiftly followed by The Notochords, fresh off the back of a set at the Birmingham MedBall. The ‘party band’ in their words are a local twelve-piece and certainly delivered on this title. UoB pop-rockers Qualms closed the night in style, playing their bouncy anthems and hard-hitting riffs. Frontman Matt Simpson and co brought out new danceable single ‘Laugh’ as well as racy number ‘The World Won’t Wait’, and marked the end of a truly musically mouth-watering evening.

Seeing the official ValeFest 2018 tees and totes merch on sale topped off the buzz for the festival; this also served as a reminder to the fact that all profits from the events head towards charities Sifa Fireside and Shelterbox this year, having gone to Basic Needs and RSVP last year.

With a lineup coming imminently and after the record-breaking success of 2016 and scorching hot fest last year, ValeFest 2018 looks set to deliver another spectacle of music, comedy and arts. If the launch party is anything to go by, the summer delight promises to be a doozy.