Down The Bright Stream

by Vinny Peculiar

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    Lovely Artwork by Manchester photographer Paul Cliff. Mastered by David Marsden

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‘Down The Bright Stream’ is the Manchester singer songwriter Vinny Peculiar [aka Alan Wilkes] 10th studio album. Story based song vignettes; poetic monologues and intimate folk-centric ballads engage and reflect throughout, Vinny’s acutely observed lyricism remains at the fore ‘English Village’ hints at preservation society era Kinks whilst PULP like teen tale ‘Catalogue Trousers’ recalls a bygone significance of the mail order catalogue industry. ‘Antony Gormley’ pokes pythonesque fun at the Iron Men on Crosby Beach. ‘The DooKumInn’ tells the tale of a short-lived 70s boutique in the village he grew up in. ‘Down The Bright Stream’ is nostalgic, poignant, self-deprecating and gently subversive with a special guest appearance from legendary PIL bassist Jah Wobble.

Vinny has collaborated with Bill Drummond [Soup Art] and his previous bands have included ex members of The Smiths, Aztec Camera, The Fall and OASIS. His most recent release the retrospective Root Mull Affect [Cherry Red] attracted some great press –

‘An under-sung national treasure’ UNCUT MAGAZINE
‘The missing link between Jarvis Cocker and poet Roger McGough and some of the wittiest lyrics this side of Wreckless Eric’ IRISH TIMES
This fifteen-track album from the Salford based singer songwriter is frankly, unmissable. A real joy. AMERICANA-UK


released March 23, 2015

All Songs Written by Alan Wilkes
Mastered by David Marsden
Engineered by Jon Hurst in the Gadget Lab & Ian Lewis at Whitby Studios


all rights reserved



Vinny Peculiar Worcester, UK

Vinny Peculiar variously described as – ‘An under sung national treasure’ [UNCUT Magazine 2014] – a warm hearted Morrissey [Q Magazine 2014] and the missing link between Jarvis Cocker and Roger McGough [Irish Times 2014]. THE ROOT MULL AFFECT is a compilation -
‘The missing link between Jarvis Cocker and poet Roger McGough and some of the wittiest lyrics this side of Wreckless Eric’ IRISH TIMES
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Track Name: English Village
When I was young I lived with my mom and my dad in an English village
I played out and I had fun in an English village
After school freezing in the pool with an unfortunate kid called Steve
Who impaled himself on the rusty spike when he was climbing a tree

Story time class one form a line in the English village
Stig of the Dump and Down Bright Stream in the English village
There goes the bell the it’s end of the day that means its time to go home
My cousin Gail keeps calling for me I wish she’d just leave me alone

My father’s fallen asleep on the chair in the English village
Mother puts a rocket my sister’s hair in the English village
The cricket team is playing on the green the Boys Brigade are tracking on the hill
There’s a girl from our school in Mayfair magazine and the thought of her is making me ill…in a good way

Everything stops at 7 o’clock on the dot in the English village
We all gather round watch Top of the Pops in the English village
When my Granddad says what’s the matter with him is it a girl or is it a gay?
And grandma says arrgh shut up Ken if you’ve got nothing better to say….

Paper round NME & SOUNDS in the English village
A souped up car speeding in the dark through the English village
Crazy Ian’s untimely end the radio pressed to his ear
They never found the driver; he didn’t come from round here…

I left my home and my family in the English village
And a brother in a hillside cemetery in the English village
The council are letting it go to rack and ruin it’s a crying shame
I recognise that man cutting the grass he used to live in Golden Cross Lane…he used to referee at the game

In the English Village
In the English Village.
Track Name: I Only Stole What I Needed
A bag of nails and a Stanley knife
Some washing up liquid and a copper pipe
Bread and milk and mineral water
Nappies for my baby daughter
Bic razors and shaving cream
TCP mouthwash and Vaseline
A penknife and some Tea Bags
Chocolate frogs n dirty mags

Lifebuoy soap and budgie seed
Pet food and an extension lead
Oranges and new potatoes
Carpet tacks and masking tape
Lemon grass and coriander
Cream eggs and jiffy bags
Milk and honey bread and jam
A birthday card and a tin of spam

I never got caught I or gave it much thought anyway
I count all my blessings at the end of every day

Plastic cups and paper plates
Barbecue coal Christmas dates
Plant food joss sticks
Socks and pants and rich tea biscuits
Chimneystacks and paper planes
Sticky Fingers and Sweet Janes
Beatles chords Bowie lines
Since when has steeling been a crime?

I only stole what I needed
Stole what I needed

I only stole what I needed
I only stole what I needed
I only stole what I needed
I only stole what I needed
To get by
Track Name: Egocentric Man
I am just an ego centric going about my day thinking about
You may see me reading the papers and watching the news espousing my views but don’t be fooled
I am only interested in one thing

I’m on the way to the shops we just ran out milk
Walk past kids dogs tied up and the old man twitching behind his curtain nets
I don’t take any notice of him I just get what I need from the shop and I’m gone so gone
Cause I am only interested in one thing

I may well appear like a well-connected socially responsible member of the human race
But I’ve had years and years and years of putting on a brave face
I spend my days coveting my muse inventing situations sharing other peoples news but
I’m only interested in one thing

And that’s me
That’s me that’s me
Me me me me me me me me me
It’s all about me
Me meeeeeeeee
Me me me me me me
It’s all about me

I’m just an egocenric man
Track Name: Girl At The Bar
She’d love to be on in radio
She used to live around here I didn’t know
In those days she wasn’t quite as cool as she is now

Got a boyfriend on tv
A bit of a local celebrity
Did an advert with Johnny Vegas for PG
He was a monkey

I’m just talking to the girl at the bar
About how well they finished off her appendix scar…

She knew the boy in the platform shoes
Helping himself to his fathers booze
When his dad found out he beat him black n blue

And her mother at the peace campsite
She’d been putting the world to rights
She did what she did for me and you

I’m just talking to the girl at the bar
She loves Jo Malone and the occasional cigar – ah ha

So do you come here often?
Yes I come here all the time
Do you want something to happen?
Can you read my mind?
Do you want to get wankered
Yes I like the sound of that
You know it’s been a long time since I had decent [shag]

Talking to a girl at the bar
She lost her job as a hairdresser
Determined to have a good time
Now she’s dancing at the table and knocking back the wine

I leave the bar soon after
Scrounge a cigarette
Catch the last train home
And I think about the girl that I met
Think about the girl that I met

And I try to forget to remember to forget…

The girl that I met
That girl…
Track Name: Big Pigeon
High in the branches of the old pear tree
Over the wall behind the railway line
Up on the roof at the back of the garage
And on the house for sale sign

Big pigeon

In the hidden/ corners of my minds eye
Down Coronation road
Grandma says there’s no need to worry
And she knows she knows

A big pigeon

I’m digging worms in the foul pen
The world cup finals on TV
Grandma has made some ham sandwiches
Granddad has fallen asleep on the settee

My family up for the weekend
We’re singing the wheels on the bus
A little boy spots the pigeon
Strutting its stuff

And I tell him the story of Grandma
And how she’s keeping an eye on us

Big Pigeon
Track Name: Antony Gormley
Anthony Gormley’s statues impose
Seen on the beach in silent repose
They look out to sea not far from me in Crosby

Anthony Gormleys men look a treat
Swinging their dicks down to their feet
Scaring the children and intriguing lonely the dog walkers

They go

OOOh weee that’s the finest penis we ever did see
OOOh weee that’s a big old sausage but its not very sexy

Anthony Gormley just can’t resist
Wrapping himself up in plaster of Paris
His helpers say hey it’s just another day at the office

Anthony Gormley is molding the cast
Takes off his clothes off and sits in the bath
The lazy the assistants know just how to wrap him up

They say

OOOh weee that’s the most elegant penis we ever did see
OOOh weee that’s a big old sausage but its not very sexy

Anthony Gormley’s cock on display
Some of us wish he’d just put it away
But he says no I’ve got something to say to the people

People like you and people like me
People who like to walk by the sea
People in love and people who work in the city

They all sing

OOOh weee that’s the freakiest penis we ever did see
OOOh weee that’s a big old sausage but its not very sexy

Not very sexy…
It’s not very sexy…
Track Name: The King Of Pop
Tickets all gone sold out in a flash
A stage and a coffin draped in a flag
And the band know how to kick ass
The king of pop is dead

I was a fan a fan of his work
But lately it got way too absurd
But I’ll always remember when I first heard
The king of pop is dead

Tributes poured in from all over the world
Smokey Stevie Martha and the girls
Young children kneel at the foot of his bed say
The king of pop is dead

Elvis Toni Ela and Bing
They all loved to watch him dance and sing
David George and Elizabeth T knew what a treasure he could be

Some blame the media some blame the press?
Some blames the hangers on and the fame obsessed?
And we all blame the father for the child’s distress

Now the king of pop is dead

The Jarvis incident and the crazy chimpanzee
The peter pan of pop has his own toy factory
In the never never ever land of the free but
The king of pop is dead

Watching the footage from the comeback tour
As the minister says raw talent so pure
And of course we believe in we believe in him for sure
Now the king of pop is dead


We killed him

Track Name: Floating Away
I gathered up my thoughts and tried to write a song
About a dream I had when I was young
But it sounded like the same old song
I wrote before this one…

Tried to reinvent the past
Get sick to death of doing that
I tried to write about my love
But I got the wrong girl and now I’m all mixed up

I tried to make the words come alive
They were having none of it
I tried to crush them, and hold them down
But I was forced to quit

I didn’t get too far
So I went for drive in the old mans car
I never came back to finish the thing
I lost the map and the wedding ring

Now I don’t feel so great
I guess I’m going stop now I’m going to have to wait
If and when I ever recover
I will write you a love song like no other

But for now this one is all I have
All messy words and missing chords
And sentiments that don’t quite ring true
You deserve better than that of course you do

If the futures made of coal
The past is made of rubber and soul
And the in-between the dream just floats away….

Arrgh…it just floats away
We just float away….
Track Name: The Saddest Summer Of Samuel S
The letter arrived out of the blue
Ten years past since I last saw you
My mother handed it to me so discreetly
With a look that said be careful it’s from you know who…
So I never said a thing not a word to anyone because
I knew what was coming and what had to be done

And the Saddest Summer of Samuel S
Was the book she was reading when we first met

I read her letter alone on the bus
And I fell under the spell of my first love
In my head I pictured us as we were then
Was I just kidding myself I’d moved on
And there was more of our story to come
So I wrote back and said we can meet up if you want

The saddest summer of Samuel S
Was the book I was reading when we first met

She arrived at the station right on time and said
Lets turn back the clock to 1979
In the pub we held hands and later we kissed
I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t resist
And for a few brief moments everything felt right
We checked into a hotel later that night

The saddest summer of Samuel S
Was the book she was reading when we first met…

We said goodbye in the morning I’ve not seen her since then
I returned to the marriage the kids the friends
I made some excuses and nothing was said
It’s as if the whole thing took place in my head
And there’s a time to remember and a time to forget
A time to shut up and a time to confess

The saddest summer of Samuel S
Was the book I was reading when we first met
Track Name: The DooKumInn
They opened a fashion shop
At the end of our road
In 1973
It was called the DooKumInn

Looking for baggies, flares and bomber jackets
We all piled in
Bored teenagers in waiting
Egging each other on

They sold peace patches and stars n stripes
That was the one everybody liked
Ban the bomb CND
Posters of The Osmond’s & David Cassidy

But most of the clothes they were tat
No Wranglers no Levis no Jaytex no Brutus and no class

Then someone got banned for stealing from the shop and soon the DooKumInn became a laughing stock

It only lasted a matter of months and then it was gone forever
The shop was demolished new houses put up and
I gave up my paper round soon after that

My mother worked at Joans Babywear and Wools
In a shop that lasted for years
On the opposite side of the road
Next to the barbers

The Do Kum Inn
Come in do

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