WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2
WHERE?: via internet
SETLIST: Reach; Creep: To You; Waiting For You; Take On Me; Yesterday; My Heart; She Used To Be Mine; Stay; Break My Heart Again; I Wish I Had A River; For All Of Us; A Song For Our Time
Blake Patrick Anderson is one of our favourite musical theatre performers and so it has come as a pleasant surprise during lockdown to discover that he’s also a talented singer/songwriter.
- Read on for reasons including why we’re comparing him with Gary Barlow and Elton John
As he performs at the keyboard during this evening’s online concert organised via Eventbrite, he reminds of a young Elton John or Gary Barlow although his own songs are not quite so hook-packed and seem downbeat and melancholy in comparison with those big stars.
That’s not to say that this 90-minute set isn’t uplifting because Anderson’s talent, charm and potential are all to the fore.
Anderson first came to our attention playing arguably the lead role (Straight Dave) in an off-West End production of Pet Shop Boys’ musical Closer To Heaven last year and this year his song Michael In The Bathroom in Be More Chill at the Other Palace was one of the most memorable musical theatre performances of 2020 so far.
Our favourite performance of the 13 songs featured here is a keyboard-led version of a-Ha’s Take On Me without the synths which Anderson both sings and plays, displaying an impressive falsetto and proving what fine songwriters the band were but also why they were such a massive current influence on acts like Coldplay.
Radiohead’s Creep also features without the ‘f’ word from the ‘I’m so f*cking special’ refrain which gives a sense of how restrained and age appropriate this set is.
Viewers are encouraged to ask questions via the YouTube platform and occasionally Anderson breaks off from performing to answer them.
He reveals: ‘My Heart is one of the first songs I wrote and recorded that I thought: ‘This is it, I’m an artist now.’ I never considered myself a singer songwriter before, but after this I thought maybe I could be.
‘I love storytelling and that’s why I love being a singer/songwriter as well as musical theatre.’
Dear Evan Hansen would be his dream role and asked what his one wish would be he says: ‘I would go back in time and this virus wouldn’t have happened.’ There’s a promise of new material and we’ve everything crossed we’ll see him back performing musical theatre again and soon.