(please send in your reviews here)
London, March 12th, Charlton Athletic Club:
I was at Charlton on Friday and glad to be, having arranged all London-based business around that date. Travelled solo 130 miles and chugged by train through the Greenwich evening, catching a brief glance of a murky Deptford, urban, dour, but strangely glamourous - and the accents of the people on the train!! Anyway, arrived early and lurked in the huge car park.
At this point I'll sum up the evening as a mix of bloody good fun and un-Satisfied yearning. You see, Sir Glenn's schedule, for whatever reason, was put out, and with a late sound check and a later than expected arrival on stage (at 9:30 - to an earth-rumbling and deeply magnanimous cheer) I sensed this evening would be different to the previous accounts of Pub tours. This is because, either I'd have to leave halfway through for the last train, or Our Glenn would be under orders with an 11 o'clock cut-off. Not a great prospect either way. But what the hell, it's my first ever Glenn-Gig. In Charlton Athletic Football Club's brand new Millennium suite, some of us politely opted for chairs, and a gaggle of teenagers from thirteen upwards, sat at the foot of the stage - including a very vivid onelister - young Adrian S. Adrian would eventually join in part way through the evening on rhythm and backing for Annie Get Your Gun, hitting most of the chords and confidently sharing the mic, both he and Glenn ending with a triumphant, fists-aloft "YYAAAARRRGHHH!!!"" But I digress.
Opening with Tracks Of My Tears, His Holiness gave the audience a middle-eighth crash course - "Outsiiiiiiiiiide...... Insiiiiiiide...... just a clowwwwwwwwwwn" - which most of us got wrong, strangely enough. But he was patient and nursed us through it. Now, if you will, compare and contrast other "setlists", as I do not make lists (too busy having a good time) but I'll give you some of the (Squeeze)songs un-played - Melody Motel, Black Coffee..., Maidstone, Cool For Cats, Walk Away, Vanity Fair, Without You Here. He played the intro to Temptation For Love - eliciting deep sighs from the hugely female contingent - but unfortunately he changed his mind and self-requested another song. I don't mean to whinge by posting this "Non-setlist", I mean what can you do when you've got a huge repertoire (fnarr, fnarr) and a talent for covers. It's his own fault for being so talented. Women were yelling for "Donkay Tawk" and though he couldn't fit that one in, he played To Be A Dad and a cool, paired-down R & B work out of Domino. He was joined on stage by Nick Wilty who sang/grinned Sunny Afternoon, and who never at any point relinquished his pint, which sloshed in time to the music. Also in the audience Paul P who played in Glenn's first band "The Fashion". He refused to join him onstage for a quick rendition of their old anthem; "We, are the fashion, the maaaain attraction..(?)". Also spotted, Ash Soan, set upon early in the evening by a rabid gang of Squeeze-mad teenagers.
On many levels, it's a pleasure to watch Glenn play. Whether he's playing an acoustic like an electric, or madly jumping about, toes turned in, jacket flapping behind him, shaking his mop of hair madly and sticking his tongue out to aid concentration. As a tall woman with a conscience, I crouched at the front and so I was mostly looking up his nose - not strictly an ordeal - and he had a beaming smile for everyone. Clothing-wise, a black suit and dark blue short-sleeve shirt. I'm not good at naming shoes. But they were chunky and took a caning all night. In full swing, in a warm room, a hot audience and a blazing Tilbrook, I was prepared to walk home (all 130 miles) by staying to the very end but Glenn then announced the 11 o'clock cut-off, clearly harassed by this limitation. With 15 minutes to go, I wondered how many songs he could possibly play in that time. With Glenn playing right through to the cursed hour, the audience held out for every last drop, rocking and bopping and singing the songs. And, at the height of his powers, in full throttle, he was gone with an element of "interruptus". If anything happened after that I cannot say, as I hobbled into the soggy Greenwich night humming songs-unsung and dreaming of one day "doing my part" onstage with Mr Tilbrook.
On a personal note, as a Nottingham Forest fan, I felt soiled at Charlton Athletic, especially when he sang Down In The Valley, but what else should I expect when Glenn Tilbrook is playing at home! The tickets said, GLENN TILBROOK versus Charlton Athletic and he was winning. Definitely Premier League material. The boy done good. And I got out alive.
Hello there S Q U E E Z Esters!.Adrian here.friday March 12th will always stay in my mind as the day I made a fool of myself in front of 300 people !.Mine and Sarahs adventure was a mixture of delayed trains as well as delayed rections (blame that on Floyds sports bar next to the venue). After calling my parents to give us a lift down to Strood railway station because the 1438 to Strood from Maidstone west was delayed we managed to get a train which again was delayed at Dartford.
We got to the venue at about 5 p.m and we decided it was too early (even
for us) so we went and had some EXCELLENT Fish and chips and watched
the Simpsons. We went back to the venue at about and went straight to the
bar where we sat sipping baileys and Jack Daniels while leaving out copies
of our Evening Standards which we had brought along to make us easily recognisable
to all the Onelisters.Word spread round that Glenn was about to turn up
so we went outside and 10 minutes late out of a car stepped Suzanne Hunt
and Glenn.I was compelled to shout"Hey Glenn remember us from the Leas
When the doors finally opened. Sarah,Russel (a fellow onelsiter) and myself made a bee-line not for the bar this time but the front of the stage where we met Ash Soan who also remebered us. Glenn finally came on at about 9.45 p.m.The first song was one that required audience participation we all made our best attempt and 5 minutes and an angry Glenn later we finally got the song right!. He then introduced himself and told us what he was going to do. By about the 3rd song he had told us that he was going to invlolve audience participation. The drink coupled with encouraging remarks from Sarah prompted me to get up on stage and sing "Annie get your gun!" with Glenn which was truly terrible ! It made me think "I wont ever go drinking again (?)". I have never been so nervous in all my life. For those interested in the fashion aspect of it Glenn was wearing a suit and with a blue shirt on. Glenn of course sang praises about his favourite team (Charlton) and made it a clear fact that he had a Charlton Athletic Towel in front of him.
SETLIST (This is only of the S Q U E E Z E songs-I didn't know many of the covers)
This list may be slightly inaccurate.
This is, in my view, a better venue than the one Glenn normally plays in Liverpool, The Lomax, although it's owned by the same folk. The L2 holds about 400 people I’d guess and it’s about two-thirds full tonight.
Glenn walked on stage about 8.40 p.m., wearing his grey suit and, surprisingly, the jacket stays on all night. As usual Glenn turned in a storming set, with its usual mix of Squeeze songs and covers. There were about 30 songs performed in total with about half being covers. Amongst the Squeeze songs was one of my particular favourites, The Elephant Ride. Glenn made the comment the Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti was not his favourite album but there were some good songs on it. There were several highlights amongst the covers: World Without Love, California Dreaming and a medley of Weather with You and Purple Haze! The real standout though was his version, played for the first time ever, of God Only Knows, described by my partner Lynn as “my favourite song sung by my favourite singer!”
There was a 10.30 p.m. curfew so Glenn announced he would just play straight through. For the closing numbers we were treated to a performance by The Glenn Tilbrook Dancers. One trouble with a Saturday show is that lots of people have been drinking all day and were overly noisy, bumping into others and spilling beer on people. This can be very annoying. I like to see people enjoy themselves but not if it unduly spoils it for everyone else.
Glenn was in fine form, laughing and joking between songs, so all in all it was a great night out. Lynn is going to see Glenn again in York on the 15th. Unfortunately I already had a ticket to see Catatonia that night, great planning!
At the highly probable risk of seeming like a lunatic stalker, I grabbed a second opportunity to see G.T. this time in York on Monday (I live half way between York and London). It's a beautiful, tiny place which partly explains why some tickets were still available on the day - unlike Charlton, which had been sold out weeks ago. Fibbers quickly filled up. A wooden floor-board atmosphere, a friendly bar staff, a big cuddly doorman who pleadingly insisted he was a monster and the maddest promotion for up-coming gigs - one liners that cracked me up. As for the G.T's poster, I quote: "An evening of interactive mayhem featuring Squeeze material and anything else you suggest or that Glenn fancies doing!! This is one of the most entertaining solo shows you will EVER see."
So he bounds on and wrestles with a malfunctioning hollow-body electric, begging it not to die. And when it's finally sorted, he launches into a jazzy, plucked version of "I've got you under my skin", the first time he's performed it live, he announces, one of several songs he learned on the road in America. Huge round of applause from an audience largely comprised of Tilbrook Pub Tour Veterans, very vocal and upfront - occasionally to the degree that Glenn's actual presence seems more like a happy coincidence. This is something he clearly enjoys. He has trained us well. The second song - Goodbye Girl - met in a "pool room". As for "Jersey" or "Guernsey", I tried so hard to memorise which, I've completely forgotten and if you're reading this for a setlist - forget it. But it was probably Guernsey. After that, the rest becomes a bit of a blur. Sorry.
The jacket that was too big for him with it's folded-up cuffs, was almost immediately discarded. Tilbrook seemed looser in these familiar surroundings than at Charlton and welcomed any accompaniment from the audience, to share a mike or borrow a guitar, which immediately got a chap called Derek onstage to sing the other part on "a song [he] did with Elvis Costello 18 years ago" - YOU check other reviews because I can't tell you the song title. Derek mimicked Elvis passionately and kept a creditable harmony with Glenn. Snake-hipped Derek also played left-handed air guitar and nearly danced out of his pants and off the stage.
Piccadilly... (drunken "heart like a gun"s) Walk Away... (G.T hit the final note head-on, whoa!!!) Weather With You/Purple Haze... He refused to play "Take Me I'm THEIRS" or "First TIME Wrong" but covered "Tracks Of My Tears" with the audience getting the accompaniment right in one go. "I'm A Believer", "Ticket To Ride". Also, played "Up The Junction" the story within actually creeping up on me and moving me as if hearing it for the first time. He played that chugging "Wine-spoley....." song, but no Melody Motel or Annie. Boo-hoo. Two from the new album - "Domino" (slinky!) and Sleeping With A Friend - complete with those other words in the second half that end with "saw her standing there." Glenn also played the audience, threatened to strip down to a leather thong during the course of the evening, ordered pints, sweated buckets and performed like a controlled explosion. If you've seen him solo or in-the-all-together, I need say no more.
One encore - Perfect Day and Tempted, the first song performed line by line by a dozen game audience members, including a velvet-voiced soul-boy, a little bloke in a mac, a tall American geezer with Lou Reed's voice and a Beth Orton soundalike also in a mac. Glenn perspires so much, I'm amazed there's anything left of him to get off the stage. But eventually he did and it's always a tug to see him go. Ideally, we'd all like to watch him play until his fingers fall off. (He's the reason I took up guitar. He's also the reason I put it down again - I'll never reach his level of musicianship). Thanks to Suzanne, clearly one of the "hard-workin'est" managers around (as well as sound checker, roadie and bar maid), who even under pressure can still give a smile. Remember the quote from the poster? An accurate review BEFORE he even played a note.
Also, York and Fibbers are highly recommended. I'm thinking of moving there....
Another more personal note: G.T. did spot me and seemed mildly alarmed/scared. Anyone who met me at Charlton will know I kind of stand out. I tried to blend in. Honest. Now, can I bear travelling another 250 miles to hear him play Melody Motel? Mmmm...
From Steven Armstrong:
I just though I'd add my thoughts to the review so articulately composed by Ms Russell. I too made the trek to Charlton AFC and thoroughly enjoyed that show (as always), but it wasn't a patch on York. My personal theory is that The Fibbers with its tiny stage and walls black painted is more suited to these events than the carpeted opulence Down In The Valley. I arrived ridiculously early, as is customary, to secure a place in the front row with my long suffering "better half".
There seemed to be a problem with the sound quality before the show,
and but as Russell pointed out once he got as far as Goodbye Girl, it seemed
to be sorted. The crowd was also on form and for once, us as The
Miracles, and Glenn's as Smokey Robinson, actually worked. It was
a long way from the usual farce I was part of at Charlton! Practise
Along with the usual Squeeze tracks, it was good to hear When The Hangover Strikes for a bit of a change. I recall he refused to play Tempted and Mussells early on for fear we'd all go home once we'd heard them! That said, he did seem to play more requests than he sometimes does, with a rendition of Black Coffee resulting simply from a well place "hum" from the bloke behind me!
I too missed Annie Get Your Gun. But let's face it, it would have been a let down after the version compete with Aidy Simpson on backing vocals at Charlton!!
On that subject, there's been a bit of a discussion here about people singing with Glenn. I usually subscribe to the "Why do they bother?" school of thought, however, the bloke who did the Elvis Costello duet was very good actually. By the way, the track was From a Whisper To A Scream if I recall correctly. Perfect Day with a cast of thousands was a bit of a laugh, but I think you'd be in trouble defending on it on the grounds artistic merit alone!
All in all, it was another great night. The only thing working harder than Glenn himself, was the towel he used to mop his brow!
From Michelle Booth:
As we seem to be in the mood for reviews of York i'll add my pennies worth.
It was my first Glenn gig and from all accounts i picked a good one. Fibbers was a great venue for the gig and the atmosphere was great too.
Despite the guitar problems at the beginning Glenn was a true professional. Playing i've got you under my skin live for the first time to begin the set was a brave descision but he carried it off well. The whole gig was on the whole comprised of requests and the democratic vote on wonderwall was a comic moment. It was great to hear some less well known Squeeze tracks (ie When the hangover strikes) as well as Tempted and Black Coffee. (I don't do setlists as i was enjoying it too much to make notes!) Despite sustaining an injury to his finger in the first half hour of the gig he played briliantly and was certainly as per the poster.
Interactive mayhem was the only way to describe it - i can't wait until next time.
From Steve Dibdin:
I too went along to the Fibbers show in York, with my girlfriend and her 17 year old niece, Kimberley. Its fairly obvious that as a Squeeze fan I would say that the show was brilliant and Glenn entertained as only he can. I also knew that my girlfriend would enjoy it too as she has seen Squeeze/Glenn as many times as I have. However, I was intrigued to know what Kimberley would make of it. After all here is a girl who doesn't know who Squeeze are, although when I played her the "Hits" she recognised the songs, and whose era is Oasis, Stereophonics and Steps.
During the show I expected her interest to wain and fall into chat. Boy was I wrong. She listened attentively to all the songs, got into the backing vocal bit and generally had a great time. Afterwards she was very enthusiastic about Glenn. That he had such a great voice, that the songs came alive without the need for drums etc, that he really knew how to keep a crowd going, that she never knew how good Squeeze songs were, generally she thought he was excellent.
I wouldn't say she is a convert, but she wants me to let her know when Glenn next plays in his native Blackheath area (as Kimberley lives near there) and she'll bring her friends. So watch out Glenn next time you play in London there maybe a number of 17 year old girlies waiting for you!!
The question that belies all of this: Despite being obviously talented, despite writing some of the finest pop songs going, despite influencing many many bands, despite the art of entertaining all and sundry, why why why have Squeeze not received the recognition and aclaim that they so richly deserve?
Why have Crowded House succeeded and Squeeze haven't? Why have Oasis become as big as they have despite Noel Gallagher being able to rehash the same old tune?
The only answers that I have are a) A&M records looking after the Police in the early days and using Squeeze simply as a filler - Squeeze may have been pushed alot more if they were with say Virgin
b) The press didn't have an angle with Squeeze. Oasis has Liam Gallagher - drugs, loutish behaviour, Patsy Kensit.
Just seems a shame that they haven't got what they deserved. Although nice for me because I can see my hero from 12 paces as opposed to being in a stadium and seeing him as an ant.
Travelled south last night to catch Our Man in a tiny 'piano bar' - it's been ages since I saw him solo, but as usual he was excellent. The audience was slow to warm up, you could have heard a pin drop between songs for much of the show, and Glenn had to work hard to build his usual rapport (unplugging his guitar and leaping into the audience to sing a peripatetic 'Woman's World' helped!). However, by the end he had his usual backing singers on stage, having murdered 'Perfect Day', to do the honours for 'It's Not Unusual'. Other highlights for me: Randy Newman's 'Guilty', which I've not heard him do in years (though the Nazareth version kept running through my head!); 'Piccadilly'; 'Domino' (the only track from this album played, surprisingly); Elvis Costello's 'Alison' (my request!); and of course a spirited 'Sunny Afternoon'. It wasn't quite the riotous mayhem I've had the pleasure to witness at other venues, but maybe Bournemouth is more staid than other towns - or maybe the audience weren't familiar with how they were expected to behave! Most seemed to be in awe of this chap who heckled and bullied them mercilessly (Miracles we were NOT - some people can't seem to count to three!), and leapt down to play among them, and invited them up on stage, and seemed to be having such a jolly good time! Now I just need him to schedule some more gigs, in the West country please, so I can repeat the experience (yes I live not far from Glastonbury, but if you think I'm going to endure 3 days of mud and portaloos at my age......then again, my daughters are contemplating climbing the fence.....hmmm! All in all, a good evening's fun; more please!
I'd wanted to see a Glenn solo gig for years, but for a number of reasons I've always missed him - up until now! I drove over to Coventry from Worcester, found the Hare and Hounds and managed to get one of the last few tickets and witnessed undoubtedly the best solo acoustic show I have EVER seen by anyone!
Glenn's choice of songs was faultless, mixing moving versions of "God Only Knows" and "Always on my Mind" with Squeeze standards - "Some Fantastic Place", "The Truth" and "Third Rail" being particularly passionately performed. He bopped around the audience and sang "Sea Cruise" quite early on and from then on the crowd loved him and he could do no wrong. A guy from the audience called Lee joined him on guitar for "Hard Day's Night" and "Black Coffee in Bed" after Glenn's invitation: "Two guitars, one of me - I can't play them both...." which is a typically generous offer from this warm-hearted performer who works harder than anyone I've seen to give the audience a good show and share the limelight with them at the same time. What I found particularly enjoyable was the way he would talk about the pleasure he gets from fragments of songs or chord progressions; the thrill of making music and working out songs is obviously as strong for him as ever.
I can't wait for another opportunity to see Glenn solo and would encourage anyone who wants to witness the most entertaining, enjoyable show imaginable from this most caring of performers (hope I don't sound too "carried away"!) to check the live dates list and see when he's next in your area. . .within a 200 mile radius at least!!!
From Peter Godden:Colchester, June 17th, Colchester Arts Centre
For those of you who weren't lucky enough to be at the Glenn Tilbrook gig last night in Colchester, I'll share a couple of high points of the evening with you. The two parts of the evening that made it for me were as follows:
The evening started with Glenn singing a Smokey Robinson number - Tracks of my Tears. He tried (without any luck at first) to get the crowd to join in with backing vocals at the right place. It was all very funny, but basically required the crowd to sing the word 'outside' behind his vocals. This then got Glenn thinking...."I know", he said, "let's all actually go OUTSIDE". "It's a lovely evening and we could enjoy the warm evening dusk" (or words to that effect).
So....we ALL went outside the Arts Centre and Glenn jumped on the roof of his own car (a black Saab) and while he stood on the warping roof panel he sang Goodbye Girl to the amazed audience. We all joined in and danced of course - it was something else for sure. One guy got on the roof with him and joined in - more roof buckling!
"I've got another great idea" he then said. "why don't the owners of these cars parked along here get on top of their own cars and that way no one will mind"
So....a couple standing near me got on to their own car and (again) warping roof panels aside, he sang an Elvis song.
"I've got another idea" he said, "wouldn't it be great if someone drove my car around while I continue to play on the roof". He shuffled for his keys and then said "actually that might not be too smart". Sigh of relief on my part but I must admit to a perverse disappointment.
We all trooped back in to the building and Glenn took to stage once more.
It was after a couple of songs more, that he reminded the audience that he had two guitars with him and of course two microphones. Well, my friend Peter and I had already decided that should the invite be there we would get up and do a Squeeze song with him. To that end we had individually been running through 'Walk Away', although it has to be said that we never actualy got to rehearse it together.
Anyway, before we could get up and play, some other guy (named Robin?) took to the stage and launched into 'Tempted' with Glenn playing guitar. Great voice and really well liked by the audience. It was slightly marred by the 'on Glenn's roof' guy who jumped up and joined in on backing (jazz scat) vocals. However, really great performance.
So, it was up to us, and Peter and I took to the stage. Well, eighteen months(ish) ago Peter and I played Third Rail on stage with Glenn, so were less nervous, however, the unrehearsed element of the song meant that were will a little apprehensive - especially as the song has a big drum break in the middle and we only had two acoustic guitars.
Well, the song went great, Glenn played the solo part and when it came to the drum break, I bashed it out on the guitar body (gently of course) which brought a big smile to Glenn's Face (humour or sympathy???). Peter was great - first time he'd sung it, and the four minute song was over all too quickly.
GREAT moment in my life on a great evening.
So, there you have it, an evening in which Glenn excelled as usual - always a man to surprise and delight. A truly nice guy, great musician and man of the people. Plus.....A MAJOR ego trip for Peter an I in the bargain.
I always thought that the next time that I went into a church I would be lying in a box, but there I was approaching the building that I was assured by a local person was the Colchester Arts Centre and I was looking at a 200 or so year old church! Certainly a bizarre venue - on the inside the walls are still lined with memorials, and the stained glass windows are all intact. There at the front was a well lit stage with a couple of geezers banging out the support slot. I only caught the last couple of their songs, but they were going down quite well.
Anyway, Glenn was up to his usual tricks, dragging the entire audience outside while he played a couple of songs standing on his car, and then was joined by a few guests who, with the exception of a large bloke who got up uninvited to do some dreadful 'jazz scat' over Tempted, they were very good. I felt sorry for the guy singing Tempted because he actually sang it rather well, and didn't need this bozo and his ego spilling all over his singing. In fact, I must say that the evening was spoiled for me and a lot of people around us by this bozo and his crew, who kept getting up on the stage uninvited; Glenn dealt with them very well, but I would guess that he wasn't exactly enamoured with them either.
Later on, a couple of lads got up and did a very passable 'Walk Away' It's obvious that people now go to see Glenn having rehearsed what they are going to play, but that is no bad thing, as it probably takes immense courage to get up on the same stage as Glenn in the first place. I wonder how many people spend weeks rehearsing at home and then bottle out of it on the night?!
There was an excellent suprise in store for the encore, as Glenn came on and then introduced one of the guys from the support band who came on with a mandolin, and then he and Glenn stunned the crowd by launching into a note perfect rendition of Maidstone - is this the first time that this song has been played live? If not, it must be the first time that it has been played with the proper accompaniment, i.e., a mandolin. This went down a storm - I just wish I'd have smuggled a tape recorder in!
It would have been nice to have heard more than just the title track from Domino, but I'm not nitpicking, it was a cracking night.
From Helen Burns:Stoke-on-Trent, June 20th, Riddlers
From Michelle Booth: