Just when you thought FINLEY QUAYE was gone for good, he's back with a cracking album that’s
surprising everyone. Words: Louisa Pearson
'I PAID SOMEONE ELSE TO DO THE VOCALS: MARK 0WEN.’ He’s joking. but l‘inley Quaye’s comment about ‘Spirituali/ed‘. the first single to be released from his new album. is understandable. The man who helped us imagine there was sunshine during British summertime two years ago with the radiant sounds of .W(l\'(’l'f(‘k xi Strike has managed to surprise eyeryone with the blazing guitar sound of his comeback track. It burns with the kind of energy usually heard from teenage bands thrashing it out for all they‘re worth in someone‘s garage.
And like the rock ‘n‘ roll dreams harboured by said teenagers. its origins lie in one of the world‘s most legendary hotels. ‘My friend Tom came oyer and joined me in New York.‘ says Quaye. ‘We were staying at the (‘helsea Hotel for three months. and next door is (‘helsca (iuitars. They hired us a liender twin amp that we lugged up to our hotel room. They didn‘t giye a damn about l10\y lotul ytntliad ytiur HIUsic. I‘ve done what I wanted to do and the rock aspect of the album is just a natural thing.‘
While ‘Spiritualized‘ acts as a wake—up call after Quaye‘s absence from the music scene. the sound is by no means typical of the new album. lit/femur]. The stand-out track is 'The limperor‘: its lush. richly layered textures complemented by raw. emotionally open yocals symbolise a new maturity. ‘.\ly writing has progressed.’ says Qtiaye. 'You do anything consistently for any length of time. you get better.’
(‘onceiyed oyer the last eighteen months. liiirgmml feels almost like a book of short stories. Different styles. different themes all unified by one man‘s voice and lyrics. .\'ot that it‘s been plain sailing for the Leith boy in getting here. He kicked off his music career when resident in Manchester. where he recorded guest yocals fora track by Mane dance music legend A (iuy (‘alled (icrald. He returned to his birthplace of lidinburgh. cutting his musical teeth with appearances at the city's Jazz. Joint. He rose to fame with the release of his debut 'Sun ls Shining’ 'and further hits with ‘liyen After All‘ and ‘Your Love
16 THE “ST 7-—-21 Sep 2000
THEY USED TO MAKE TOYS OUT THERE. THE TOYS THAT GO "BING- BONG-BING-BONG MERRY CHRISTMAS"
(iets Sweeter liyeryday”. llis standing was consolidated with his winning the Best Male Singer Award at the Brits in 1998.
Of late it has been his appearance through the lens of the paparaui that has attracted most attention. .-\ much publicised tryst with the widowed l’aula Yates was followed recently with a .stramash inyolying a fist. a relatiye of head .lunglist (ioldie and a rescue worthy of Florence Nightingale by fellow lidinburgher (iail Porter. All this and the long-running feud with Tricky oyer claims that Quaye is his half-uncle just keeps on running.
lle‘s eyen had run-ins with British Airways ("They're out of order. they owe me a grand‘) and borne of that is his new sting ‘Bt‘ilislt .-\il‘ Rach which takes personal concerns to a political leyel. There‘s exert a foray into electronica. ‘(‘had Valley". with a title of hi/arrc tit'igins. ’l)ti you know where (‘had Valley is‘." he asks. ‘lt‘s somewhere there in Strathclyde. They used to make toys out there. The toys that go "hing—bong- hing-bong .\lerry (‘hristmas'I‘ Quite.
l'ans will be pleased to know that Quay c will he on tour soon to promote the album ("The Iiye show is gonna be a compromise between the two albums.’ he promises). and he‘s particularly looking forward to Visiting the capital. ‘.\ly fayourite show I eyer did was in lidinburgh. It was ama/ing with the fireworks. the whole (iothic looking castle. with about 8()()() people there. That was magnificent.~
Vanguard is released on Mon 2 Oct. Spiritualized is released on Mon 11 Sep.