When Finley Quaye talks, his words dance with life. And, like his music, the 23-year-old Scot/Ghanaian is full of surprises, the first one being his response to his first TOTP appearance. Not for him any complaints that it was an anti-climax. Weeks after his appearance to plug his single "Sunday Shining", he's still buzzing on the memory. "It was fantastic, crazy and exciting," he enthuses. "I met Supergrass. I love their music - it's not retro, and they've got a good sense of humour."
The post-Oasis climate has brought a glut of bands with a bland, confident swagger, but Finley Quaye has no trouble exuding genuine charisma. He belongs to a very exclusive club of new Brit eccentrics which includes Tricky and Goldie. Spawned very much by multicultural Britain, their music is infused with an obsession for a wickedly maverick re-invention of rock and dance rules. The fact that Tricky is actually Finley's nephew and pal Iggy Pop has a hand in Finley's up-and-coming album can only fuel predictions that Mr Quaye is a young man who can't fail to go a very long way indeed.
Finley is with junglist mate A Guy Called Gerald, working on a new track. He says the aforementioned autumn album will show many dimensions to Finley not yet unveiled by his releases this year - "Ultra Stimulation" and the radiant "Sunday Shining", the single that mixes up psychedelic guitar licks, Marley lyrics and sweaty funk to great effect.
Two things Finley's songs will never be, however, are ironic and detached. "There are a lot of sides to me but my music is not made-up stuff, not satire. What Jarvis Cocker does is death row, giving yourself problems." Finley is steaming now. "That music is no use to anybody; it's about people who moan, whinge and make a mockery of things."
A busy few months lie ahead. An assault course of festival gigs and plunges back into the studio stand between Finley and the release of his album. He is clearly chuffed that an Independent journalist recently described him as "potentially dangerous". Time will tell. At the very least, he will work his not inconsiderable charms all summer long.
EYE ON THE NEW Paul Weller heads out on the road without his trusty standbys, guitarist Steve Craddock and bassist Damon Minchella from Ocean Colour Scene, but with a new album, Heavy Soul. Personally,, the prospect of cuddling up to The Jam's recently released box set is more enticing than watching his Royal Highness of Dour Guitarmanship on stage for a couple of hours, but after 20 years, Weller has become as much a fixture as Eric Clapton or Phil Collins.
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