Alan Wilkes (AKA Vinny Peculiar – his real name is “lame”) is a Salford (NW England) based singer songwriter and “The Root Mull Affect” is a collection of outtakes and remixes picked from 15 years of his recordings and represents his 10th album release.

Some will be aware of Vinny Peculiar and he has indeed worked with some well known folk in his time like Bill Drummond, Tom Robinson and Luke Haines whilst his various bands have included members of The Smiths, Oasis, Aztec Camera and the Fall.

The Root Mull Affect is a wonderful collection of tunes and kicks off with “A Vision” which is a great story of psychedelic whimsy of the day John Cooper Clarke joined The Beatles. The new remix of “Jesus Stole My Girlfriend” is superb and tells the story of …well you can guess I’m sure.

“Flatter and Deceive” is a pseudo-country number of Peculiar’s life up to the date of writing the song and is very “northern” with its deadpan and self effacing lyric – I lived this tune much as I really loved the whole of this record.It manages to blend humour, tragedy and pathos in equal measure (Confessions of a Sperm Donor is a perfect example) whilst remaining very much in the pop vein and very much accessible. Lyrically it tells wonderful short stories of every day life that are both funny and moving.

The Root Mull Affect came out on 10th March on Cherry red and comes very much recommended. It’s the perfect introduction to Peculiar’s work (which warrants further investigation for the uninitiated) and is a useful addition to existing fans’ collections. I found it highly addictive and lyrically it could only be the product of a Northern mind and made me feel right at home immediately!

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