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Vince Chinaski (Denmark) – Eat your peas (single)

Vince Chinaski (Denmark) – Eat your peas (single)

The ‘one-man band project’ as Vince Chinaski calls himself, arrived into NMC on a couple of occasions last year, creating more than enough interest in me to want to feature him for a third time.

The peripatetic Vince is originally from Rome and arrived into Copenhagen by way of Berlin. There should be one of those Rome2Rio travel website pages devoted to his journey.

I have to say that I rarely get turned on by any artist, band or song that has food in the title, such as the UK’s Beans on Toast or The Lovely Eggs. Even Pigs x7 makes me think of bacon sandwiches. Collectively it sounds like a full English breakfast at a greasy spoon cafe on the High Street of Anytown, or perhaps in the restaurant at Fawlty Towers.

On the other hand, peas always make me think of the Spitting Image portrayal of 1990s UK Prime Minister John Major; the colourless, grey puppet pushing his peas aimlessly around his plate during his evening meal small talk with his wife Norma, while he repeatedly tells her, how much he likes them, rather than how much he loves her.

But enough of the small talk and small appetite. ‘Eat Your Peas!’ “is a tragicomic rush through the pulsating states of mind of a father. Beyond the maddening contradictions and the contrasting feelings there’s love. A lot of it. Between the lines a wider universal spin develops.”

Vince adds that when he sings on the track that “It’s for your own good!” it just doesn’t cut it. Neither does “Because I say so!” Raising kids is full of paradoxes and that’s possibly the beauty of it, even if it’s exasperating. You want to protect them while they’re growing up but no matter what you say the children eventually go their own way.

He continues, “They’ll make mistakes and you’ll have to pick up the pieces. In constant balance between being ‘understanding authoritative’ and ‘lost-my-patience authoritarian’, your own baggage makes it difficult to stay flexible and break your tried-and-true patterns. Day in, day out, you just keep trying your best, expecting nothing in return. Then one day these little persons say or do something extraordinary that makes you realise how wonderfully they have developed, in ways you couldn’t even have imagined. True, you’re living off scraps in the process but it’s worth it…”

That’s quite deep stuff for a popular music single and Vince is a deep thinker. In the first song of his that we reviewed, ‘Unconditional Love’, he wrote of his cross-Continental journey, one which was also a metaphor for his love of life no matter what it throws at you. Then in ‘Opportunities’ later last year he examined the very brief life of someone who had none of them – Alan Kurdi, the two year old child refugee whose photograph, lying dead on a Greek beach, sent shock waves reverberating around the world.

So it’s hardly surprising that there’s an alternative spin on ‘Eat your peas’ suggesting that the parent is Mother Nature and the child is mankind screwing it all up. Or ‘ratkind’ as Tuomas Holopainen famously described it in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ And for the record, Vince uses the same imagery as Holopainen did in that song when he sings of shrinking into a ‘grain of sand’, something which mankind took his time in the sun, having a dream to understand, in the Finn’s classic. Great minds clearly do think alike.

Musically, I‘m at a loss for how best to explain Vince’s style. ‘Art rock’ seems strangely inadequate. Guitar and delicate subtle bass lines and percussion underscore this song but occasionally he’ll throw in a brief synth contribution into the condensed mix. There’s a lot of musicianship in it, but not as we know it, Captain. 

He’s really of a different era and if you listen hard enough you could imagine a prog rock band like Jethro Tull penning this in the 1970s, with help from Robert Fripp and Mike Oldfield.

There’s probably a fairly limited market for this level of erudite composition that you can’t dance or bang your head to, which is a pity. Vince Chinaski has plenty to say and deserves to be heard.

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