UK recording artist and X Factor winner Sam Bailey appeared on stage at the Lyric Theatre last night for her first-ever West End concert, and was joined by some very special guests that included 2014 Britain’s Got Talent winner Collabro, members of The Boys of the Barricade, West End leading lady Caroline Sheen, West End leading man Michael Xavier and one quarter of boyband Union J, Jaymi Hensley. Also there was American songwriter Scott Alan, who performed two of his songs with Sam Bailey. He has continued to raise his profile here in the UK this year with several concerts at the St James Theatre, and most recently, a sold-out two week residency at the Hippodrome Casino, London, and has just released his latest album which is an impressive double-showcase of both his work and the voices of West End stars Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett.
Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett sing Scott Alan is the seventh album by the acclaimed composer. The eleven-song track list features a mixture of new and re-imagined songs performed in various combinations by Cynthia Erivo, Oliver Tompsett and Scott Alan himself.
Cynthia Erivo is currently preparing to make her Broadway debut in the revival of The Color Purple, where she’ll reprise the role of Celie to co-star opposite singer and stage/screen actress Jennifer Hudson. She won critical acclaim for her performance of the role in the 2013 UK production at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. Other notable theatre credits include Madeleine in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Gielgud Theatre), Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act: The Musical (UK Tour), Chenice in I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical (London Palladium) and Poins/Douglas in Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse).
Oliver Tompsett has played principal roles in numerous West End shows, including the male lead of Fiyero in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria. He also originated the role of Drew in the UK premiere of Broadway musical Rock of Ages (Shaftesbury Theatre), and starred as Galileo in the final West End cast of We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre). His other theatre credits include the Madness musical Our House (Cambridge Theatre) and Mamma Mia! (Prince of Wales Theatre).
Scott Alan is an internationally acclaimed songwriter who has toured the world and performed concerts of his work in such countries as the US, UK, Japan, Holland, Germany and Australia. He released his debut album Dreaming Wide Awake: the Music of Scott Alan in 2007, which featured such stage stars as Stephanie J. Block, Jonathan Groff, Shoshanna Bean, Cheyenne Jackson, among the album’s line-up of guests vocalists and introduced listeners to now-classic Scott Alan songs ‘Kiss The Air’, ‘Home’ and ‘Never Neverland (Fly Away With Me)’.
Dreaming Wide Awake was followed by Keys: the Music of Scott Alan (2008), What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up: The Songs of Scott Alan (2010), Scott Alan Live: Special Edition (2012), Anything Worth Holding On To (2014) and Greatest Hits: Volume One (2014). Some of the best voices from the West End and Broadway have featured on his albums, with a few of my personal favourites including ‘Again’ (performed by Hadley Fraser on Keys) and ‘Always’/’Goodnight’ (performed by Sierra Boggess and Jane Monheit on Scott Alan Live).
Alan has described his new album as ‘an absolutely beautiful & stripped down album of brand new songs and a few remakes done in the way only Cynthia & Oliver can.’ The full track list for the album can be found below:
1. Sail (performed by Oliver Tompsett)
2. Anything Worth Holding On To (performed by Cynthia Erivo & Scott Alan)
3. Darlin’ (Without You) – (performed by Oliver Tompsett)
4. Take Me Away (performed by Cynthia Erivo & Scott Alan)
5. Stay (performed by Oliver Tompsett & Scott Alan)
6. Warm (performed by Oliver Tompsett & Cynthia Erivo)
7. I’ve Already Won (performed by Cynthia Erivo)
8. Breathe and Be Brave (performed by Oliver Tompsett)
9. At All (performed by Cynthia Erivo & Scott Alan)
10. You’re Not Alone (performed by Oliver Tompsett, Scott Alan & Cynthia Erivo)
11. Always/Goodnight (performed by Cynthia Erivo, Oliver Tompsett & Scott Alan)
Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett sing Scott Alan was released on the Billy-Boo Records label. The album cover was photographed by Darren Bell and features Art Design by Playbill’s Robbie Rozelle.
As an ardent supporter of new musical theatre writers, I regard Scott Alan as one of the best out there right now and have followed his work for a number of years since my initial introduction to him through Simon Greiff of SimG Productions/SimG Records. The following quote was written by me after attending an intimate live gig of his at Jermyn Street Theatre back in 2011:
“One of the best features of Alan’s writing is that he takes moments from his life and writes about them in searing honesty. A Scott Alan song is a soul-baring experience which offers its listeners a little piece of himself. Sometimes it will make you laugh and other times it will make you cry; it will always make you feel though. That’s what is so very special about him.”
I still stand by this sentiment four years later. Scott Alan really is one of the best at what he does and only continues to get better and better over time. Hearing his work sung by two such incredible vocalists as Oliver Tompsett and Cynthia Erivo is simply the cherry on the top of one very tasty bun.
Cynthia Erivo and Oliver Tompsett sing Scott Alan was released on Friday 9th October 2015 and is available to buy on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Tuesday 13th October 2015