For a brief while, Edinburgh-born musician Finley Quaye genuinely seemed like the future. When Maverick a Strike was released in September 1997, its maker arrived with a beguiling and newsworthy back-story – son of composer Cab Kaye, half-brother of Elton John’s guitarist Caleb Quaye, and apparently an uncle to Tricky. Although that earned him column inches, it was his music, a perfect meeting point of roots reggae and the then-current trip hop craze, that made him loved.
An unsuccessful spell signed to Polydor in the mid-90s meant that Quaye had had time to craft his songs; he recorded with friends as opposed to a hastily-assembled bunch of session players and Maverick a Strike revels in its own airy, bright universe. All styles seemed welcome – funk, punk, soul, reggae and pop were all part of this infectious stew. Made with indie pop producers Jonathan Quarmby and Kevin Bacon, it’s immediately apparent why Maverick a Strike caught flame quite so quickly.