Brighton on a sunny day can not be beat, and some lunchtime Sushi makes things even sweeter. A visit to the Apple Store and then off to the Dome for the rest of the day, a venue i know well and i love. A small Albert Hall on my doorstep. It was almost a full […]
Brighton on a sunny day can not be beat, and some lunchtime Sushi makes things even sweeter. A visit to the Apple Store and then off to the Dome for the rest of the day, a venue i know well and i love. A small Albert Hall on my doorstep. It was almost a full house and the best news was that Louise and the steps came to see the show, not to mention out post lady! lots of local people friends and family. I let myself go and enjoyed the show, others not as much it seems, i think technical problems were to blame, like toothache after a light pudding. The best way to sum up the show is to cut and paste the review from the Guardian. A fine review by the very nice Alexis Petridis. I owe him a pie. The tee shirts he raves about by created by Louise, so all love to the Mrs.
Difford and Tilbrook deliver a rousing reminder of their talent for tuneful and touching glimpses of everyday life The T-shirts on the merchandise stand bear the words: “I’d forgotten how much I like Squeeze.” It’s a nod to an unexpected resurgence in songwriters Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook’s careers. They are promoting Squeeze’s first album of new material for 17 years, bolstered by the fact that the songs on it were commissioned for Danny Baker’s sitcom Cradle to Grave. “We’ve had a single played on the radio,” says Tilbrook from the stage. “It’s unbelievable.”
The slogan on the T-shirt also hints at something odd about the band’s reputation. Radio 2 never go long without playing Up the Junction, and Squeeze should, by rights, have a similar national treasure status as Madness, with whom they shared a flair for pop singles and a lyrical voice in which knockabout blokeishness gave way to telling, sensitively drawn vignettes of everyday life. You could argue all night about why they haven’t. Lack of a strong image? Too erudite? Festering resentment for having foisted Jools Holland, and thus the annual misery of the Hootenanny, on the UK? Whatever the answer, it isn’t to do with their songwriting, as tonight proves. There is an abundance of hits – Some Fantastic Place, Tempted and Is That Love? – reminding us of lyricist Difford’s ability to cram what Smash Hits called “three-minute Plays for Today” into Tilbrook’s melodies. These favourites are peppered with album tracks that demonstrate the richness and depth of Squeeze’s back catalogue, not least The Elephant Ride’s lovely evocation of postcoital drowsiness.
Songs are accompanied by films that range from vaguely apropos to baffling. You can understand the significance of showing Difford’s mid-70s journals, although the fact that he seems to have spent considerable time as a teenager drawing pictures of genitals is a bit distracting. Another Nail in My Heart, meanwhile, is accompanied – for inexplicable reasons – by a film of bluebottles crawling over a map of Sweden.
Most striking is how clearly material from Cradle to the Grave shows that Difford and Tilbrook’s talents are undimmed. For all the on-stage jokes about having to write about Danny Baker’s adolescence, it’s obvious the songs quickly outgrew the sitcom brief. The agonising portrait on Nirvana of a marriage floundering after children leave home, or the warm-hearted depiction of a wedding on Open demonstrate Tilbrook’s melodic facility and Difford’s ability to home in on a tiny, telling detail – which doesn’t seem to go unnoticed by the audience. “Play more new stuff!” shouts a plaintive and apparently unironic voice from the circle. You don’t have to be an expert in gigs by bands with a 40-year history to know that doesn’t happen often.