Dan Says – Week Five

This week marks a pretty favourable one for myself, if I do say so myself…after last week’s dick pic exploration, I’ve been a lot more PC this week and kept my clothes on

Earlier this year, I bumped into a friend Vicky who I’d met coincidentally at a Glee live show at The O2 and as the two solo individuals we latched onto one another and since then we’ve been friends, I just haven’t seen her… so I bumped into her outside a Theatre and we agreed we would go and watch a show together and this week we did… but it wasn’t just any show… it was ‘Waitress’.

Now when it comes to Theatre, I don’t really go as often as I would like… there’s no legit excuse, it’s a force of habit… ‘Waitress’ is not particularly a show I would rush to go and see as it’s just open and I usually ignore hype, however, this one stars one of my favourite popstars of the late 2000s – Katharine McPhee. A lot of people are familiar with her because of ‘Smash’, however I’d been stanning her a good 5/6 years prior… Her debut self-titled album was one of my highlights of 2007 and her follow-up ‘Unbroken’ has some of the strongest bodies of work on it ‘Terrified’ and the titled track being absolutely beautiful… When I discovered she was performing in the West End adaptation of ‘Waitress’, I knew I had to go and it was the perfect opportunity to catch up with Vicky. The show is wonderful… from start to finish.

The entire cast is incredible… with special shout-outs to Katharine and Marsha Wallace (who plays her colleague Becky). Jack McBrayer is there for comic relief and is a nice touch to the show. Katharine has a stand-out performance of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ that will make you want to give her a standing ovation from the moment she opens her mouth. I’m not going to give too much away about the plot but for a new musical, I have to say I’m impressed… the music’s great, the plot isn’t too flimsy and has a nice bittersweet ending.

And whilst I’ve been jamming to the soundtrack since Saturday PM, I’ve also had a few other tracks on my mind…

Clare Maguire – ‘Bring Me Flowers While I’m Alive Not When I’m Dead’

Bring Me Flowers While I'm Alive Not When I'm Dead

A post-2010 popstar that has always caught my attention is the wonderful Clare Maguire. She burst onto the scene with her debut single ‘The Last Dance’ in 2011 however in late 2010 she was all over the blogs with promo singles ‘You’re Electric’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody’. It was ‘You’re Electric’ that caught my attention and I’ve been hooked ever since… the lovely lady manages to transfix her audience with her powerhouse vocal which fits many types of genres – dance, indie-pop, ballads and alt-pop… ‘Bring Me Flowers…’ adds no exception to the rule and whilst Clare labels it as a “bedroom demo”, I’m finding the track difficult not to have on repeat… it has a real Kate Bush ‘Deeper Understanding’ vibe about it to me where the vocals are slightly distorted and the track conjures up this image of discontent in a relationship with a slight humorous tone… the song isn’t quite as literal lyrically as it seems… where Clare refers to herself as dead here, you could suggest she is referring to the relationship she’s in; instead of the image of putting flowers on someone’s grave, she is simply stating “bring me flowers while I’m alive and not dead… to that particularly person”. It’s a nice play on the idea…

P!nk – ‘Walk Me Home’

P!nk - Walk Me Home (Official Lyric Video)

I was discussing with some friends the other day about how underrated P!nk is… she’s got such a back catalogue and I often forget about her, even though her show at Plymouth Pavilions is 100% one of my favourite shows I’ve seen… her live vocals are something to brag about but I have always found her a little shouty so ‘Walk Me Home’ is a nice departure from her usual shouty vocal… it’s a bit more laid back and features a soft, guitar and drum backing with P!nk detailing growing up and how it’s better to grow up with somebody else…

Adam Lambert – ‘Feel Something’

Adam Lambert - Feel Something [Audio Video]

On the underrated scale, Adam Lambert is certainly in the top 5 underrated contestants of a reality television show and I personally feel that’s because he’s a bit lacking musical direction. His debut album was camp fun and the follow-up ‘Trespassing’ seemed to follow suit but he seemed to water himself down on his last record ‘The Original High’ and it’s been a bit quiet since then, I know he’s been doing his thing with Queen, but Adam’s original music has always been more interesting to me than his Queen stuff… ‘Feel Something’ marks the first release from Adam in a while and the track is a nice song… it’s a lot more in vein on the ‘The Original High’ area than the camp sound he touched on originally; the track has a choir in it towards the end and he wallows “I just wanna feel something” and details Adam’s feeling of depression… It’s a pretty song and marks the perfect promo track before transcending into the first single…

Katharine McPhee / Jessie Mueller – ‘She Used To Be Mine’

FIRST LISTEN: Katharine McPhee "She Used To Be Mine" from Waitress The Musical

So yeah… I’m obsessed with ‘Waitress’ and whilst the Katharine version of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ is not on Spotify, I’ve been playing different versions of hers on YouTube and the Jessie Mueller version on Spotify… and whilst Katharine’s version live at the Adelphi was absolutely breathtaking… the song itself is beautiful sung by whoever… the lyrics to the track details the torment Jessie’s dilemma as she channels guilt, alongside pregnancy as well as loss in identity… Katharine McPhee pretty much belts the track effortlessly and your entire body will light up with goosebumps. Oh I need to see the show again.

Years & Years Feat. MNEK – ‘Valentino’

Years & Years, MNEK - Valentino (Official Video)

This little Valentine smasher for the gays is certainly an unusual little bop… I always imagined one day a group of gay artists would team up for a new version of ‘Lady Marmalade’… I imagined Years & Years, MNEK, Troye Sivan and Sam Smith would be the collab (even though I’d swap Sam out for Frank Ocean if I was the producer) however it seems Years & Years and MNEK have teamed up for ‘Valentino’ – the anti-fuck boy anthem where we to believe the same guy is dating MNEK and Olly at the same time and in a Monica / Brandy moment… the two team up and cue the revenge… only, it seems the only injured party here is a teddy bear. The track is super catchy and the middle eight “I should have known not to trust Valentino” will get stuck in your head.

So yeah… I’ve pretty much seen every artist I ADORE live now… the only ones left are Hilary Duff, The Spice Girls, Girls Aloud and Jennifer Lopez.

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  1. Adam Lambert has recorded five songs since his third album The Original High. Check out Welcome to the Show, Broken (Tritonal & Jenaux), Can’t Go Home (Steve Aoki), Two Fux, and Feel Something (released on Feb 22). He also recorded Hot Patootie Bless My Soul and Science Fiction Double Feature for the Rocky Horror Picture Show live broadcast on NBC, and he recorded Think! (Aretha Franklin) for the Captain Underpants animated film. These songs are available on the usual download and streaming services.
    During that time he had notable live performances: Girl Crush with Leona Lewis for a country music awards show, a George Michael tribute for Project Angel Food (One More Try is sublime), As Long as You’re Mine w/ Ledisi for the Wicked 15 yr anniversary, a stunning arrangement of Believe to honor Cher at the Kennedy Center Honors in Dec 2018, and Blue Suede Shoes for the recent broadcast of the Elvis anniversary show. Queen & Adam were the opener for the Oscars last Sunday, blowing the roof off the Dolby theater. Videos of these five performances are available on youtube. While there, check out Adam’s three appearances on the Late Late Show with James Corden, two solo and one with Queen.
    Since releasing The Original High, Adam completed a 20-country solo tour and yearly tours with Queen worldwide, for a combined total of 197 concert dates. (I often wonder what time zone his body thinks it’s in.)
    With radio now mostly a set of clone services with limited playlists, one must find the real gems through other means. I suggest following Adam Lambert on social media to be aware of his work, as every bit of it is worth hearing/seeing. His work is varied and each performance is delivered with excellence.

    1. Dan Says is a run-down on what Dan has been listening to during the previous week, and so he included ‘Feel Something’ in this week’s edition. I can assure you he knows a lot about Adam and his music – but you’ve given me a lot of information I wasn’t aware of before, so I’m very thankful for your super-thorough reply, it’s very much appreciated. (Lisa – ed)

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