Ironic and enthralling
Tom Vek live at Heaven, London on Thursday 16th June 2011 by Elinor Jones

Thomas Vernon-Kell’s biggest show to date follows a five-year hiatus from the limelight. The London born musician – stage name Tom Vek – has been something of a mysterious character since the release of his debut album ‘We Have Sound’. But tonight, Vek’s return in front of a sold out audience showcasing material from a highly-praised second album, ‘Leisure Seizure’, one thing is for clear: people are expecting.

Stepping into a red glow of light, Vek appears as if he’s travelled forwards in time from 1959. The slick hairstyle, horn-rimmed glasses and white t-shirt may be new, but it’s the slap bass of ‘If You Want’ that gets the nod of approval from fans of old.

What’s brilliant about this performance is that Vek hasn’t restrained it all in pre-recorded material, with both drums and bass being played pretty much live by a band of multi instrumentalists. And as ‘I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes’ plays out with great gusto and continues to please fans of his debut album, it’s their response to ‘Nothing But Green Lights’ that leaves Vek beaming.

His new material is apt, ironic and enthralling. “We’re calling on the people, but the people have evolved,” Vek chants in his new song ‘World of Doubt’, driven by loose drumming and a catchy guitar riff. Fitting then, that the encore of ‘A Chore’ sees Vek replaced by an actress that mimes the words he sings from backstage. “See you next time,” he says, but in what guise we are still yet to find out. Let’s hope that when he does, there’s nothing but green lights from here.

Words by Jake Young
Photos by Elinor Jones

View an accompanying photo gallery of this Tom Vek gig on HERE.

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