Tuesday 16 January 2018

WATCH: Dublin band Valves poignant video featuring Irish manager of London’s first Playboy club

Valves - Underground
Valves - Underground
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Dublin band Valves have released a poignant new video for their new single, Underground.

The video features John Stokes, the 83-year-old uncle of drummer Paul Stokes, who was the manager of London's first Playboy club in the 1960s.

The narrative focuses on John's life in London as he reflects on a life in which he met countless celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Muhammad Ali, and lost a few loves and family members over the years.

"John is incredibly happy and successful," reveals Valves lead singer Ian Plunkett, "He ran the Berlin Marathon and the London marathon and he still goes out on Sunday for his pint, and has one or two ladies he still sees. 

Valves - Underground
Valves - Underground

"But I suppose lives on his own and he’s at that point in life where he’s reflecting on different loves and families he lost along the way.

"Initially he was a bit emotionally detached [on the video shoot] but the more we shot and unravelled, the more he opened up."

Given the Valves - Ian, Paul, Darragh Lynch, and Poj Flanagan - moved from Dublin to London a year ago this week they understand how difficult it can be to be away from home.

"There’s no doubt London can be an incredibly difficult city, the sheer scope of distance you have to travel to meet friends and family members," he says.

"It’s totally different to the experience one would have in Dublin and I think we were aware of that as Irish people abroad, you feel that connection to home and probably consciously or subconsciously we had a deeper connection to John's story.  We could end up being here for a long time too."

The move to London was prompted by frustration with the impact of austerity on labels in Dublin, with much of the infrastructure moving to the UK. 

"Bands like Hozier and Kodaline were being signed and we had been knocking around on the same circuit as them so we felt London was the right move."

On September 16 they'll take part in an industry showcase with managers and representatives present.  The night will also mark the release of the new single.  No pressure then!

"I think we're kind of just really focused on our performance, first and foremost," says a chilled-out Ian.  "We love playing live and playing the new track and getting the video out there will be really good.  We want to make sure everybody goes home feeling like they enjoyed themselves."

Check out the video for Underground:

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