Real name Alan Wilkes, this pseudonym hides a doyen of the Manchester scene, and someone who also writes punk poetry and dabbles in the arts. Over the years his band has included ex-members of The Smiths, Oasis (witness Bonehead in one of his videos), and The Fall. But then again, which thirty-something Northern musician hasn't been in The Fall at one point or other?So, Vinny Peculiar or Vinny Ha-ha? A bit of both really. He's not quite one of those Grumpy Old Men types, but he does live the life of New Wave rebel gone to domesticated seed - slightly resigned to his current state, but with a poignant detached take on the modern world. A world where he no longer quite seems to fit in with today's dominant now-now-now, me-me-me psyche. He comes across here as Bill Nighy playing Jarvis Cocker in another of his aging rocker roles, espousing opinions with a mix of distain and bewilderment - like Terry Collier from The Likely Lads but with a Ray Davies turn of phrase and reedy voice. Being of a certain age I know how he feels actually, and the prevalence of gentle tuneful melodies and quirky bittersweet observational lyrics makes this album a little (probably going to be overlooked) treasure - leaving a warm, untaxing, feeling of enjoyment - like an old vaguely familiar film that just hits the spot during a Sunday afternoon on the sofa. Sparklehorse is apparently one influence, and that might be a useful comparison for the atmosphere this album can generate - though never getting quite as lo-fi as Sparklehorse. In fact, it's rich but clear sound is another of it's plus points.It's not all a gentle ride. We have the sentiments of 'To Hell With Fashion' mixed alongside songs about writing poems and relaxing with a Kit-Kat and a cup of tea. Good job he's not on the Tory front bench too - declaiming "lazy public sector workers": "loitering at fire drill / Dedicated skivers one and all ... All they ever do is moan"; all to a shuffling laid back beat. And when did you last hear a sorrowful song about the 'Nurse Of The Year' awards? 'Fashion' does see him curl his lip and snarl as, one suspects, in days of old, but it is spiky lead single 'Uniform' that really does shake things up and energises an album that could otherwise have been remembered as single-paced. All those The Fall influences flow freely in a brilliant short angular slice of hard-nosed pop. Also on the more aggressive side is a sneering version of 'Sun Comes Up It's Tuesday Morning' - which only doesn't quite work because the sleepy-eyed Cowboy Junkies original is such a favourite of mine.Shot through with his distinctive personality, it's comforting cosy melancholia beckons and rewards return listens. Time to give this CD another spin right now - I've got some ironing to do after all. Vinny Peculiar can make that everyday task seem like a poetic act. If you're tired of the overbearing hand-wringing of Morrisey or disappointed that Jarvis isn't quite delivering the goods, then give Vinny Peculiar a try.Vinny Peculiar on MySpace