Biography in brief….
UK musician and poet Vinny Peculiar [aka Alan Wilkes] has been variously described as – ‘An under sung national treasure’ [UNCUT Magazine 2014] – a warm hearted Morrissey [Q Magazine 2014] and the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Roger McGough [Irish Times 2014]. He’s released eleven albums of outsider pop music to great critical acclaim, current album release Silver Meadows [Fables from the Institution] on his own Shadrack & Duxbury Records continues to gain plaudits and is currently in development as a stage play/musical with Liverpool writer Ian Salmon. Most of the albums are available from the store. Raised a Methodist in the north Worcestershire village of Catshill VP trained as a nurse working in long stay learning disability & mental health hospitals, a primary influence on Silver Meadows. Much of the work is autobiographical, songs are candid, poignant and self effacing – you really need to hear them. He also writes occasional poems and runs workshops.
He has collaborated with Bill Drummond [KLF, SOUP ART] as an artist in residence and on numerous house concerts. Various bands have included ex members of The Smiths, OASIS, Aztec Camera & The Fall. He’s released twelve albums to considered critical and a formed psychedelic art-folk-rock band PARLOUR FLAMES with BONEHEAD [OASIS] in 2012, their acclaimed eponymous Cherry Red debut is available here. His work is often compared to the likes of Eels, John Cooper Clarke and the more pastoral elements of The Kinks. He’s played stages far and wide opening for British Sea Power, Edwyn Collins and Luke Haines amongst others and is a former compere on the Glastonbury Acoustic Stage.
Here’s a live session from Blackburn College in 2005 recorded and mixed by Jo Fossard featuring former Smiths members Mike Joyce [The Drums] Andy Rourke [Bass] and Craig Gannon [Guitar]. Ben Knott is on keys. There are more videos here
And here some nice press….
Vinny Peculiar songs make you laugh and cry and think all at the same time…TOM ROBINSON BBC 6Music
‘A well-measured introduction to an under sung national treasure’ UNCUT MAGAZINE
‘The missing link between Jarvis Cocker and poet Roger McGough and some of the wittiest lyrics this side of Wreckless Eric’ IRISH TIMES
This fifteen-track album from the Salford based singer songwriter is frankly, unmissable. A real joy. AMERICANA- UK
Crashing poppily through Vinnys world of nostalgia and insight every song stuffed to the gills with melody and eccentricity, clever, funny and wonderfully weird’ R2 MAGAZINE
‘If Tony Hancock had made pop records they’d have sounded like this’ UNCUT MAGAZINE
Rolling Stone Magazine said…‘Vinny’s kitchen sink confessional style of writing is often described as quintessentially English – ‘homespun tunesmithery in the Robyn Hitchcock/Martin Newell vain –wry nostalgia, witty wordplay’
This Edinburgh festival 2010 review sums things up nicely…
‘With his flat cap, florid blouse and fidgety nervous energy pitched somewhere between Andy Warhol and Jarvis Cocker, there’s an anarchic elegance to Vinny Peculiar which is both at once both thrilling and faintly unsettling. Storming through a set of oblique, tortured punk poetry, he wins over an initially skeptical crowd with his animated delivery and taut, frenetic pop hooks. Channeling all that eccentricity and barbed wit into something strangely compelling Vinny Peculiar is the sort of unlikely, heroic pop star they just don’t seem to make anymore’. *****
‘If Tony Hancock had made pop records they would have sounded like this’ UNCUT MAGAZINE
‘Imagine a surreal episode of My Two Dads where said fathers are Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie, who bully their child into liking them and everything they like, like glam stomp, kitchen sink vignettes, mordantly witty lyrics, nostalgia, dreams and a sneer, and you‘re ready for Vinny Peculiar, Manchester’s premier forward thinking backward looking song smith’ W&H
Sounding like Vic Chessnut tooled up for an armed robbery’ Irish Times
‘A treasure trove of timeless pop brilliance’ The Big issue
‘Honest, witty, incomparably savvy about pop culture, Vinny’s songs make you smile and for the duration of three minutes plus, they manage to make the world a better place.’ City Life
‘Vinny Peculiar is all about the words. Looking (and singing a bit) like Elvis Costello in wig and baseball cap, it’s hard to work out what’s more entertaining – the story-cum-songs or the preceding self-deprecating monologues. Clutching his guitar, he gyrates and jack-knifes round the stage like a busker desperate for 20p to get into the tube station toilets. Endearing and irreverent’ MEN LIVE reviews
‘Vinny’s songs, a beautiful blend of Americana, indie-pop and busker-punk, create an almost George Formby-like world of oddity and human frailty, and the self-deprecating veracity of his lyrics never fails to hit the intended spot’ Clash MAGAZINE ***