Unlike football, music is generally quite a genial hobby. Favourite bands might split up, but they could always get back together, and if not there’s always new ones to take their place, whilst decent songs might eventually be used as the soundtrack to an annoying bus journey, but you can take solace in the fact that it might at least earn a band you like some money. However, there are times when it can seem as cruel as a last-minute winner against your alloted team or a loss by a penalty shoot out.
If their was one artist I could be said to support, Tom Vernon-Kell, or Tom Vek as he prefers to call himself, would probably be the most likely. Whilst other bands have been and gone, there are few other acts that have managed to stay so fundamentally frustrating and, therefore, engaging. The subject has been posted about before on these pages, with a message to Vek’s PR ending in a hopeful mention that 2010 may see the return of a man who’s been silent since an appearance on ‘The OC’ about 4 years ago. ‘We Have Sound’ was and is glorious, and the search for missing b-sides isn’t nearly half as depressing as the thought of living without them. However, as the fanbase he cultivated dwindles and memories of his (often underwhelming, reportedly) live shows fade, those still interested are reduced to scouring google for unreliable word of mouth news from forums. Some claim he’s alright, playing with The Late Greats at Latitude last year, others say he’s reclusive, reqiring his studio alone in search for the perfect sound.
Slowly, Vek’s Wikipedia entry has become something akin to my homepage as desperation for any kind of update increases. But around a week ago, things seemed to change for the worse, causing something close to a panic attack. A nameless editor had updated the page, by entering “Vek has recently stated that he is ‘unable’ to write a follow up to 2005’s We Have Sound due to having contracted writers block and it is expected his will soon announce his musical retirement.” No sources, no mention of where he might’ve stated this. Google searching threw up no further links, but it seemed to fit with the facts – 5 years, no new material and little indication of a willingness to enter the industry again. An unanswered e-mail to his manager looked like apt confirmation. Until today, at least.
At 9.50 this morning (April 13), the entry was deleted and replaced with “Island Records and Vek’s PR company (Darling) recently announced that Tom Vek would be releasing his new album in June 2010.” The unsurprising thing is that Island have done little of the sort, with no press release or news to confirm the claim, whilst Darling PR seemed unaware that they’d even added Vek to the roster, nevermind announced plans for a new album.
So, then, what now? Rumour has it that he is in fact still working on his second album, which we can all hope he is. If you’ve got any rumours, true or false, it’d be lovely to hear them. At this point it doesn’t really matter – any news is good news.
If you’ve forgotten what he sounds like, here’s 2 b-sides. They’re probably the best thing you’re going to hear today:
Tom Vek – Music Television
Tom Vek – Roots/Branches