When it comes to home-grown musical talent, dear old Watford certainly has its fair share. We’ve nurtured the likes of George Michael and Geri Halliwel,l and are now sitting back and following their phenomenal success like proud parents.

Here at the Watford Observer, we’ve long been championing bands and acts that we’ve thought would go on to make it on the global stage, and were proud advocates of Naughty Boy, The Staves and Lower Than Atlantis from the very beginning, and were delighted when they went on to do just that.

Continuing that tradition, we’ve now got our eye on the bright young things in rock band Valens. They are: Julian, 21, on lead vocals and keyboards; Leigh, 24, on lead guitar and backing vocals; Tommy, 22, on bass; and Alister, 25, from St Albans, on drums. Tommy and Leigh met at Bushey Meads School and met Ali at college. Deciding to form a band, they recruited Julian as their singer two years ago.

The boys describe their sounds as ‘an explosion of solid rock rhythms and uplifting melodies delivered with a vocal punch to the ears that will leave you reaching for the repeat button’. Crikey. They cite their musical influences as Thirty Seconds to Mars and Angels & Airwaves.

You’ll have seen them gigging furiously round the pubs, venues and music festivals of Herts over the past couple of years, often at The Flag in Watford and The Horn in St Albans, and they’re playing a free gig next Monday at The Horns in Watford.

If you want to check them out before you go, they’ve got a single on YouTube and iTunes, Father, and a track called Forever Young on YouTube.

They’re already starting to make waves outside of Watford –last year alt rock band the Fearless Vampire Killers invited the boys to support them at their headline show at The Dome in Tufnell Park in front of about 500 fans, opening Valens up to a whole new audience, and they’ve also played with pop rockers Native and received Radio 1 airplay on Huw Stephens’ show, and have appeared in the rock bible Kerrang!

“Watford is our home and we’ve got loads of memories and moments from here,“ say the boys, “and no matter what the future will bring us, we’ll never forget this place. Our home will always have a place in our music.“ So just how big are Valens going to be? That’s for you to decide.

  • Valens play The Horns, Hempstead Road, Watford on Monday, January 19 at 8pm. Details: facebook.com/valensUK

Pick of our pop stars

Watford’s most famous adopted son, who was born just down the road in Pinner, needs no introduction from us. But the fame, the awards, the hits, the tiaras all pale into comparison next to his most important accolode – being chairman and then president of Watford FC. The Sir Elton John Stand was opened at Vicarage Road in December 2014, and Elton and family were in attendance.

Geri Halliwell started life in Watford General Hospital (or Shrodells, as it was back then), lived in North Watford and went to Watford Girls Grammar. So, Watford then.

Rock band Lower Than Atlantis formed in Watford in 2007 after the vocalist and guitarist met at West Herts College, and continue to make a big noise in the international music scene.

Gallows are so hardcore they’re post-hardcore. Apparently. Formed in Watford in 2005, they have been everywhere and done everything and left everyone’s ears bleeding.

He’s not a Naughty Boy, he’s a hugely successful record producer, DJ, songwriter and musician. But he’s never forgotten his roots in his parents’ West Watford council house.

The Staves started out at open mic nights at The Horns. Now they’re friends of Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver, and have been on Jools Holland. This year can only see them get even bigger.

George Michael lived in Radlett and went to Bushey Meads, where he met Andrew Ridgeley. He played clubs and schools around Watford before forming Wham! and going global.