Shea Seger – Clutch
Back when I still lived in the Welsh valleys, and after signing up for the BMG mailout via some Natalie Imbruglia release or another (ok, all of them) I received a couple of cassette promos with little teasers of albums about to come out. IMAGINE. SENDING A CASSETTE TO THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE – how times have changed.
Anyway, after the Bally Sagoo cassette didn’t tickle my fancy, one day I got one for a lady called Shea Seger. Now, I still don’t quite understand how this album, and this single in particular, didn’t make Shea a superstar. I loved every track on the little teaser cassette, and this song Clutch is still one of my favourites.
What’s weird is that I keep meeting a lot of people who say this is one of their favourite songs. Even at the time I remember that everyone in school had seen the video – a boxing ring scenario where she looked super cool and actually quite like a superstar – even though none of us had music TV. People seemed to know it, but it wasn’t a hit. Similar to Like A Feather by Nikka Costa, and around the same time, it seemed to be in public consciousness but was maybe a little too indie to be a proper hit? I was always surprised that Amerie’s 1 Thing was huge, but Like A Feather was a flop. I felt like The May Street Project (the album Clutch is from) was like a rock/soul/blues version of Kelis‘s Kaleidoscope (Pharrell Williams had a hand in both) and actually neither record truly connected, but Kelis did at least have two top 20 hits from hers.
Back to Shea – Clutch gets a reaction every time I DJ it – whether it’s an “OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS” by the fans who still hold it close to their hearts, or a couple of new people who ask what it is. It’s aged amazingly well, and remains a very smart and very brilliant song with great lyrics, great production and a vocal delivery that suggests a woman who had more to offer than she was given the chance to.
Entered chart: 29/04/2001
Chart peak: 47
Weeks on chart: 2
Who could sing this today and have a hit? It could go one of two ways – a ball buster delivery by Adele in her Rolling In The Deep form, or a more ethereal ice queen vocal from Marina & The Diamonds in the vein of her Immortal delivery. I could imagine both artists taking it in their own ways.