Danielle's tribute to her very own Heartbreaker
Danielle and her husband (and drummer and manager) John Merrigan dedicate the song to their very own little heartbreaker, the latest addition to their family.
“We will have the full band,” says John. “A full five-piece, and we are going to be doing a lot of original material – and all in aid of St Richard’s Hospital. We had a wonderful experience there with the birth of Darcy last November. Every step of the way, before the birth, during the birth and after the birth, they were absolutely fantastic.”
Danielle, a mum for the fourth time now, is in complete agreement: “I went through St Richard’s with our daughter Sophie 14 years ago, and what happened this time is that I am older and had to have more attention because I was diabetic during the pregnancy. That was monitored.
“But the community midwives were absolutely outstanding. It was like it was personal. I was never made to feel like a number. I have had private healthcare before, and for me that was just take your money and smile. At St Richard’s it was like they really, really care all the time, and they are not just concerned about your baby. They care about you and about your partner and about your family and everyone around you.”
Danielle didn’t expect to be back there quite so quickly, though: “Two weeks after the baby was born, I tripped over the dog and broke my leg. We were trying to introduce the baby, and as he is an older dog, he gets over-excited and got under my feet and just tripped me.”
Old football injuries had caused a weakness; the dog did the rest. But fortunately, they had already recorded the Heartbreaker single back in October, all with the intention of getting back to work in January: “We just had to put everything on hold!”
Heartbreaker proved the perfect choice, written by the Bee Gees, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb: “It has always been a favourite of mine, and I grew up worshipping that song. The guitarist asked if we could do it.”
And they had reached the stage as a band when a well-chosen cover was the right thing to do – proof of their versatility as musicians.
“Once you have done originals and you have got a bit of performance under you, you take a cover to show that you are not scared of taking something that is really well known and looking at it from a different perspective to come up with a different version. When you take on a well-known cover, you can open yourself up to a lot of criticism because you need to do it differently. What we have done is that I have changed the vocals. The melody is the same, but the phrasing is different. This is a louder vocal. The Dionne Warwick is a beautiful vocal. My vocals on this are not beautiful. It is a more gritty, more emotional version, and absolutely I connected with the song. It was very poignant. When I was recording the song, I was very heavily pregnant. It is meant to be a love song, but when you turn it around, it is about Darcy because she is our heartbreaker. She is our little heartbreaker miracle baby. Getting to the studio when you are pregnant is hard work. It was very difficult to do. But it is all for Darcy.”