Each week Fresh On The Net invites an artist or band to answer a short series of questions in Prick & Ding: the two and a half minute interview. It's convenient and quick - like enjoying a tasty microwave meal!


Vinny Peculiar is a songwriter/poet based in Manchester – with an acute pop music sensibility running through his work. It’s as if he’s logged all the best bits of 20th and 21st century UK culture, distilled them at Gas Mark 6 for a while, and then re-imagined them in the form of a shapely new song.

There’s something familiar and trusting in his work. It feels like being re-acquainted with a family member you don’t see as often as you’d like to. It actually feels reet lovely and life-affirming.


This is a man with a great body of work behind him – deserving of much respect for his output over 9 albums. He’s rightly been dubbed “The Tony Hancock of Pop”

His track ‘A Vision’ is a brilliant and timeless pop song. My co-curator Tom Robinson and I were honoured to include it on our compilation album Home Volume 3 – a free download featuring some of the freshest new sounds of  the time.

Vinny in currently working on an album of material under the guise of Parlour Flames  with collaborator Bonehead (Ex-Oasis) and it sounds very fetching indeed. Who wouldn’t want to check out songs with titles such Lonely Girls And Horses or  Pop Music, Football And Girls ? (See below)

Vinny himself describes the project best:

Parlour Flames is a musical collaboration between former OASIS rhythm guitarist Bonehead [aka Paul Arthurs] and the Manchester based songwriter & poet Vinny Peculiar [aka Alan Wilkes]. They met through Smiths drummer Mike Joyce when Bonehead played bass in Vinny’s band on a string of European shows in 2007. Bonehead also played guitar on the Vinny Peculiar album Other People Like Me [2011].

Parlour Flames were so named by Vinny after he caught a TV program on Victorian lifestyles, with the fire in the hearth and the extended family attentive for piano recitals and poetry readings. The FLAME as a symbol of belief. The name also scanned well and wasn’t taken. People seem to have warmed to it…

If you haven’t so already, take a little time to get to know Vinny Peculiar & Parlour Flames:  you won’t regret it. Team Freshnet’s Simon Poole tells us that the band are playing Manchester’s Deaf Institute on Sunday Febraury 10th


1.What are you up to at the moment?
Bonehead and I are finishing off the new Parlour Flames album, it’s a proper DIY affair. It’ll be out in the spring 2013, it’s called

2. Favourite childhood memory?
Digging for worms in a chicken coop on holiday at my Grandma’s house in rural Worcestershire. Those worms never stood a chance.

3. Hero?
Charles Bukowski and my late great uncle, Jim Wilkes.

4. Villain?
Bond Villains. I’m not a fan, I don’t get it.

5. What/who makes you laugh?
Bill Hicks on drugs and music.

6. Describe what you do?
I look for an angle and distort it, sort of…

7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
I get nervous at the hairdressers, the girls, the gadgets, the clippers, the sink, the apron and the mirror. Always the mirror.

8. Best musical experience to date?
Meeting Marianne Faithful at Glastonbury and touring with Luke Haines – both highlights.

9. What artist inspires you?
Luke Haines, Bill Drummond, David Bowie: I like people who disregard the expectations of their time and go their own way…

10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...


  1. Parlour Flames are playing Manchester’s Deaf Institute on the 10th of Feb too.

  2. Thanks Simon,I’ve updated it to include that gig info ,Johnno

  3. Norrie Morrison

    Was at the Glasgow gig last night. The songs sounded great in such a small venue as King Tuts. Vinny was a great frontman and a great story teller. So good we even got the carpark one twice. Lol. Really looking forward to the album now. Live Forever.

  4. Mick

    Can’t wait for some live stuff… BH & VP look to be quite intriguing…

  5. Love this! Thanks so much for introducing me to this fantastic songwriter. So excited by Vinny.

  6. Thanks for the comments.

    For those who have yet to discover him Vinny is a great example of how to make fine pop music.

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