Fan Reviews
UK/Australia 1999
(please send in your reviews here)

Birmingham, August 11th, Ronnie Scott's:

From Chris Lowe:

Glenn began by telling all assesmbled why he was so chuffed to be playing at Ronnie Scotts.  Ronnie used to buy his stuff from the music shop that Glenn worked in as a wee lad and Glenn's dad was really impressed when he heard his son was playing there.  He'd arrived as far as his dad was concerned!  Anyway, to start with we had 'Tempted' and then we meandered our way through the usual mix of Squeeze stuff and covers.  After inviting anyone at all to comne and sit on the stage next to him, he uncovered the piano and went for 'Blue Monday' by Fats without a mike and got everyone singing with him on 'Tracks of My Tears'.  He also tried Willie Nelson's version of 'Always on my Mind' and got loads of people on stage for 'Perfect Day'.  Those were the highlights of his covers.

The Squeeze stuff included being joined by Tim (?) who got up and did 'This  Summer' with Glenn and received a well deserved cheer.  From Domino, Glenn did the title track which sounded terrific and then there was the oldies - Up the Junction, Is that Love?, Labelled with Love and so on.  It doesn't matter how often you hear them, they still sound tremendous.

Towards the end he suggested that we all go outside and do a few tunes out there.  Everyone was up for it until someone pointed out to him that loads of people had had meals during the evening and hadn't paid their bills.  So that idea was squashed.  All in all though, another fantastic gig.

Melbourne, Australia, September 9th, Dan O'Connell Hotel:
    From Wayne Mitchell:

    set list: (not in order)
    take me i'm yours/up the junction/pulling mussels/another nail in my heart/in quintessence/tempted/woman's world/is that love/labelled with love/when the hangover strikes/black coffee in bed/annie get your gun/hourglass/the truth/some fantastic place/
    it's over/third rail/walk away/temptation for love/domino/without you here/little king/
    a cover of a rockabilly type number (don't know the name)

    comments:
    set started at approx 10.30pm & finished at approx 12.15pm
    the venue holds approx 240 people & from the front of the stage it looked packed full.
    glenn commented on the 19 year gap between squeeze's only visit & now & he was keen to perform numbers from right throughout their career. consequently, more than half the songs were audience requests. glenn called for a volunteer from the audience to play guitar with him on take me i'm yours.

    glenn was in fine form & it appeared that most of the audience were die hard squeeze fans. glenn was called back for two encores (two songs both times) & everyone seemed to be totally knocked out by his performance. great singing, great guitar playing, great rapport with audience, great humour. he explained chris's departure by saying chris hated aeroplanes/travelling etc. glenn said that he realy missed chris. he also said that he hoped that squeeze would tour downunder next year.

    a great concert!! (wasn't widely publicised- i only read about it the day before. for a huge fan like me this was almost too good to be true!)

Sydney, September 13th, Harbourside Brasserie:
From Duncan Kimball:

Set list: in alpha order (apologies if I have missed a couple!) 
Annie Get Your Gun / Another Nail In My Heart / In Quintessence / Domino / Drinkin' Wine (Spodee-odee) / Goodbye Girl / Hourglass / Is That Love? / Labelled With Love / Little King / Pulling Mussels  / Some Fantastic Place / Space Oddity (part) / The Truth / To Be A Dad / Temptation For Love / Take Me I'm Yours / Tempted / Up The Junction / Woman's World / Without You Here(?) 

Comments: 
In spite of the lacklustre prepublicity (many people, like us, found out about the gig only days beforehand) Glenn's performed to a very enthusiastic full house peppered with local musos and celebs. The Harbourside gets very hot and stuffy and Glenn soon ditched the coat and was sweating profusely throughout. The appearance of his towel led to a funny little "compare and contrast" routine about the Glenn v. James Brown and his 35 piece band, whom Glenn said he had seen recently. Harbourside is not a very good stage/seating setup, but the crowd was very attentive and respectful, and in spite of some minor sound problems early on (and a couple of awkward moments with the lighting) Glenn gave it his all. He really enjoyed himself, and was very personable and funny, repeatedly toasting the crowd with his trademark "Cheers then!". 

Later in the set, as in Melbourne, Glenn invited a member of the audience to get up and play on "Take Me I'm Yours". People were uncertain at first - most of us thought he was kidding - but Glenn was really funny about it. He put on a schoolmaster act and said "We"ll stay here until someone comes up here ... you're wasting my time and the school's time ...". Eventually a guy called Grant came up and played 6-string with him. He did very well and was obviousuly chuffed at the chance to play with Glenn. 

Ahhh, The Voice ... Glenn sounded totally fantastic - there were some real spine-tingling moments there. Seeing him on his own highlights what a truly magnificent singer he is, and like Elvis Costello that solo format really shows up the strength of the songs. The friends I went with on both nights are not rabid Squeezophiles, and professed to know only a few songs - but they all commented afterwards on how many songs they remembered and how great they were. 

Glenn's guitar skills were also a highlight - he did a rollicking cover of "Drinkin' Wine (Spodee-odee)" which he played on 12-string and demonstrated what a fine player he is. He also jokingly did a bit of "Space Oddity", and got the audience to do the 'countdown' vocal in the second verse - but we only had to go as far as 'seven', which he instructed us to render with the same naff sense of childlike wonderment as Bowie does on the record. Very funny. 

You can't help but miss the presence of Chris and the band (especially since I've never seen Squeeze live in the flesh) and Glenn paid tribute to Chris a couple of times during the show. But of course Glenn is a consummate performer, and really knows how to work the audience without it being false or showbizzy. I found it interesting to contrast him with Ron Sexsmith, whom I saw a few nights later - Ron is by comparison a much more reserved and self-effacing presence on stage, though no less talented. Glenn was very open and relaxed, but you could sense the experience and confidence behind it - and with a songbook like his to draw on, he could have gone on for hours. He came back for a couple of encores, and finished with the inevitable "Tempted", and he also hung around singing autographs and CDs for about half an hour after the gig, at which time we got to meet and talk to him. All in all - a dream come true. 10/10 

I also went to the taping of Glenn's solo performance for the ABC-TV series "Studio 22" the following night. This was a shortened version (about 30-40 minutes) of the same set list as Monday night, and all the more enjoyable because it will be something I can tape and keep. It goes to air here in Australia some time in October I think. The one less-than-ideal element was the host's intro, which was I thought a little patronising, making the predictable reference to "Cool For Cats", their only Aussie hit, and describing the songs as "simple" (they only seem simple because Glenn makes it look so easy), but it was a great showcase for Glenn nonetheless. 

Two wonderful, memorable nights - onya Glenn! 


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