Perfectly Peculiar

Entering the stage alone with an acoustic guitar to recite an intriguing monologue, Vinny Peculiar is a strange figure indeed, like Jarvis Cocker's younger brother with the same gawky exuberance and geeky but honest stage manner, Vinny is a hit. After a curious tune about a child prostitute, with the glittering refrain, "And I'm a dirty old man, like Steptoe!", Vinny is joined on stage by his band, tonight guitarist/bassist Craig Gannon is ill and the band are joined by Bonehead, formerly of Oasis, with The Smiths Mike Joyce on drums, it's already a heady line up of Mancunian talent and they pull off a great show.

From upbeat ditty, 'Jesus Stole My Girlfriend', a bright number with chirpy keys and sparkling guitar chords as well as bucketloads of humour, to the middle-aged lament of 'Everlasting Teenage Bedroom', a thoughtful Britpop tune about that place in your head where you're still 17 years old, Vinny Peculiar dowse the audience in wit and smooth indie tunes. Even a foreign audience, who may struggle to understand Vinny's eloquent vocabulary - "Do you have skulduggery here in Austria?" he questions the crowd - are charmed by the irreverent onstage banter of the charismatic singer. The songs all boast vibrant straightforward melodies that swell with guitars and carry the listener along in their merry wake, as well as some delicious hooks. A particular highlight is 'Living In The Past', a compulsive tune with a gripping tension in its melody that has guitars swirling round you as the luscious chorus rings out.

The encore perhaps tops it all as Vinny treats us to 'Confessions Of A Sperm Donor' after a wonderful teasing intro that gets the English speakers amongst us tittering as we anticipate the profession Vinny is describing. The tune is just as entertaining in its graphic but charming detail and introspective musings that must be taken with a pinch of salt in this context.