LIKE Plan B and Professor Green, 21-year-old Michael Stafford's looks belie his music.

Retro-tinged soul songs rub shoulders with hardened lyrics of city life that are the Irish-British rapper's speciality.

In Sometimes, he sings about growing up in Stoke Newington, where he was bullied, whereas I Need is a haunting reflection of days gone by with its backing of strings, drums and electric organ.

His take on Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come is beautiful.

Sabre's distinctive gravelly vocals, particularly Winehouse-esque on jazz-inspired No One and I Can Never Be, continues to impress throughout.

Bizarrely, the debut from Maverick Sabre also shares the same title as obscure Norwegian rocker Jorn Lande's fifth album. But that's where the similarities end.