Tom Vek

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Tom Vek / BeerJacket / Injuns
Glasgow Oran Mor, Thursday 13th October
It's standard practice really for the opening band to play to no one. So when Injuns take the stage they don't seem too shocked that you'd probably find more people on the dance floor in the early hours of a first year school disco. Unfazed, the five boys from Skye pile through a rather funky and interesting selection of tunes. Immediately Bowie, Queen and Madness come to mind proving Injuns are certainly not scared to mix it up. At times it does sound a bit like musical vomit. However when they get it right, the monstrous bass lines, harmonious melodies, ska riffs and jazzy trombone melt wonderfully into a vicious horror movie soundtrack.
BeerJacket is, well, a little different. It is always a worry when one lonesome figure awkwardly bumbles onto a stage clutching an acoustic guitar. The worry being that he may launch into an array of Blunt/Gray/Healy classics sending half the onlookers into a dream world, where the performance of ballads is punishable by death. Thankfully, BeerJacket aka Peter Kelly is not sickly and wholesome and is in fact bloody good. Competing with the noise of a now jam packed Oran Mor, Kelly provides far more than just background, easy listening love songs. Moving from tales of woe and sadness to humour, Kelly grips the crowds attention and impresses with complex rhythms and melodies.
Tom Vek is, well, a little different. Performing songs from an album where you play most of the instruments could be a little tough and tiring, so it is no surprise that Vek has enlisted the support of three session musicians. It's not often that an album so full of intricate sounds, off beat rhythms and thumping bass lines can easily transfer to the live stage. Tonight however, Vek surpasses all expectations with an extraordinary set of romping dance/rock akin to The Rapture or LCD Soundsystem. Everything is immaculately performed and even Vek's dancing rubs of some of the audience who flail arms and legs around like a string puppet on acid. New single 'Nothing but Green Lights' is psychedelic dance madness, while the blend of acoustic brilliance and techno sampling in 'That Could Be Arranged' is masterful. Other standouts are the funked up 'If you Want' and lyrically bizarre 'On The Road' where Vek goes from being a 'back seat driver' to 'driving licence' to 'handbrake' in a matter of minutes. Highlight however is b-side 'Music Television', a throbbing low frequency dirty mess made all the more enjoyable a bit of spoken word by Vek. By not limiting himself to any specific techniques or methods, Tom Vek has not only made it impossible to define his music but has also produced one of the most innovative and imaginative tours and albums of 2005.
(Godfrey McFall)