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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.


  1. Now we’re fully into the Download Age, everyone’s forgotten what it was like to go into a record shop and actually have to ask for something, a task fraught with problems at the best of times, but especially when you didn’t know how to pronounce the name of the artist in question… case in point here, was it “Shee Say-ger”, “Shay See-ger”, “Shee-ah Say-ger”…? The ships of many pop careers crashed on those particular rocks…


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