A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow A Guy Called Gerald: Finley's Rainbow

Single Review
A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow Freaky Trigger
13th December 1999

6. A GUY CALLED GERALD – “Finley’s Rainbow”

Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

I think if I could pinpoint one time in my life when I’ve been really, unconditionally happy, this would be the one: April 1995, about half-past eleven in the morning, sitting in T-Shirt and Jeans on the steps of the Bodleian Library, taking a break from some work or other, watching dust dance in the sunlight, watching the sunlight bring out the cream in the marble, and "Finley’s Rainbow" on the walkman. Though I can’t think of a single song more apt, it wasn’t the song that made me so happy. In fact it wasn’t anything that made me happy, which was I suppose the point. I’m not in general a miserable person, but most of the time my mood is pretty much contingent on other people or objects – am I in love with someone? are they in love with me? how are my friends doing? how is my job going? have I paid my bills? isn’t this record terrific? So when happiness creeps up on you like it did to me that morning, you tip your hat to it, and then treasure the moment for a long time afterwards.

A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology is a great album, the best jungle album ever, and "Finley’s Rainbow" is at once steeped in its intense, inspired methodology and drawing on something else entirely. Nothing else on the album is as straightforward: the lazy, sweet vocals of a pre-fame Finley Quaye are something earthy and obvious to grab onto. Behind them, the jungle: the word was never, ever so appropriate as when it described Gerald’s teeming music. A drowsy, dislocated bass pulses under twining drums, synthed pizzicatos flit by like strange fauna, and everything’s permeated by a humid gauze of brushes. The drums rattle like bones, and the mood might be arid if it wasn’t for Quaye’s vocals coming down on the song and quenching it like a shower. I didn’t know who Quaye was, didn’t know that "Sun Is Shining" was a lilting reggae standard, but what I did know was that this was at once among the freshest things I’d ever heard and the most timeless. There’s a hint of the jazz singer in Quaye’s voice here, a brassiness, and there’s something like jazz in the music too, something unpredictable, tense and thick. But while his contemporaries took hold of the politest bits of fusion, Gerald – by all accounts a difficult and shabbily treated musician – latched onto a more turbulent tradition, the jazz-funk-electronica of Pangaea-era Miles Davis or Sextant-era Herbie Hancock, and the music he made boiled like theirs had. Combine that with Quaye’s love-drunk lullaby and you have a certain blueprint for wonder.

[Reviewer: Tom Ewing]

A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow The Wire
Issue 130
December 1994
Page: 75

A Guy Called Gerald
Finley's Rainbow

"I want you to know right now/That I'm a rainbow": sung as if the vocalist has turned distractedly away from the mic, has looked out the window and seen anything but a rainbow, the pitch of distanced, off-centre melancholy against whippet-swift breaks and agitstrings becomes something utterly fugitive, a shadow twisting away from its host melody. A glinting, glancing, dancing hint of Gerald's forthcoming Black Secret Technology album.

[Reviewer: Kodwo Eshun]

A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow Mixmag
Vol. 2, Issue 41
October 1994
Page: 56

A Guy Called Gerald
Finley's Rainbow
Juice Box

The genius is back on the attack. Starts with a soulful male vocal telling you to move your feet, then kicks in with some serious drum and bass carried. The B Side is a serious stepper from start to finish. A must.

[Reviewer: Eastern Bloc]

A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow NME
24th September 1994
Page: 22
A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow

A Guy Called Gerald
Finley's Rainbow
Juice Box


THE SUMMER of 'Voodoo Ray' and that other Manchester sound may be a fading memory but this record rivals its more illustrious predecessor for spaced-out dancefloor action. Its appeal won't be to the hardcore jungle fans because it's fairly tame compared to the most ferocious cutting edge of the genre, but there's a huge crossover and chart potential for this. It's also reminiscent of 'Voodoo Ray' - empty, functional and soulful with occasional spacey female voices and a lead vocal track that seems to be coming from another planet.

[Reviewer: TOMMY UDO]

A Guy Called Gerald Single Review: Finley's Rainbow Melody Maker
10th September 1994
Page: ??

A Guy Called Gerald
Finley's Rainbow
Juice Box

Gerald Simpson in summertime mode. This is basically roots reggae in triple time, a dense web of succulent, squelchy rhythms and female vocals like a throttled angel. The "Skankin' Mix" is even more juice-tastic.