I fell in love last week. I was standing in the Now Wave tent at Parklife Festival in Manchester, when all of a sudden Cupid’s Arrow pierced my ears. I turned to my friend beside me, and pointed towards the stage with my right hand, and said, “That is the coolest man I have ever seen or heard.” The 1st class students among you will have read the subtitle and fi gured out that I’m talking about Tom Vek.
This will hardly be news to many of you. In fact my friend’s response to my hero-worshipping babble at the gig was, “You’re an idiot. How do you not know Tom Vek?” (Presumably he was also thinking in his head, “Why am I friends with this fool...”) So let me put my hands up and apologise: I never noticed Tom Vek when he first burst onto the scene in 2005 – hell, I’m pretty sure I was still listening to 50 Cent in 2005. Furthermore, I had no idea that he disappeared for six years and I didn’t prick up a single ear when he finally returned in 2011 with Leisure Seizure [Spotify]. But here I am, in June 2012, saying that it’s my Totally Hot Album of the Week – yep, that sentence sounded as pretentious as I thought it might…
The reason I’m risking hearing the words “Dude, where have you been?” for the next week is that Tom Vek’s set at Parklife was just incredible. I felt like I was in the Scott Pilgrim film and Vek was blasting awesome from his guitar. He looks like a perfectly proportioned wax copy of himself, with perfectly proportioned black glasses, a perfectly cut white t-shirt, and hair that looks like it’s been nicked from a Ken doll. Whereas bands had been struggling all day with poorly amplified vocals, his deep but youthful voice cut through the tent like a broad double-edged sword. And he danced like he would if he was recording in his studio, like you would if you were listening to his album in your bedroom.
But that’s enough about Tom Vek, what about the music. I can sum this album up in one sentence. It’s the musical equivalent of meeting the girl who pushes every single last one of your buttons.