Nottingham, City in the Park Festival, July 25th
Well I've been waiting for someone else to say something about this show but it looks like it will have to be me!
Squeeze came on at 7.00pm and played for about an hour, including the encore. I'm afraid I didn't write down a set list but along with the songs we all know, and most of us love, they played three 'new' songs (To Be A Dad, Domino and another one). Glenn dedicated 'To Be A Dad' to his sons Ted and Louis who were stood at the side of the stage in their Manchester United soccer shirts.
Ashley, Hilare and Chris H fitted in really well, although I didn't think they made enough use of Chris Holland's keyboard skills - perhaps he still feels the new boy lacking in confidence.
The rest of the bill was OK:
Unfortunately I missed Nick Harper as the show started an hour earlier than advertised!
All in all it was well worth going just to see a Squeeze show with a full band after all the Glenn and Glenn and Chris (with Nick Harper) shows of the last couple of years.
Roll on the winter tour - I've tickets to eight shows so far!
Sorry if this is a bit rambling and lacking in hard facts, I'll try harder next time.
From Chris S.:
Set list from The Amersham Arms:
I thought some of the new songs were a bit 'rock' for my tastes, but
maybe it's that I don't really like guitar solos!
From Aidan Pedreschi (who provided the poster scan above):
Also from Aidan's Amersham experience:
From Vikki Smart:
In all the years that I've been following Squeeze, to my recollection I cannot remember ever seeing such a desperate, excited, drooling room of hardcore Squeeze fans in all my life. We'd plagued the Amersham with frantic phone calls for tickets, badgered people in the queue for spare ones, and pretty much caused mayhem wherever we went. We'd come from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, local and abroad . . we'd put up with horror that is British public transport, spent hours in London's abysmal rush-hour traffic . . . but, nevertheless, we made it. And from the excited chants, screams, dilaed pupils, mega-consumptions of all genres of alcohol and the usual scramble for the front row, we were determined that it was going to be worth it.
And besides the agonising wait for the guys to come on, I think that it WAS worth it. Although some of us had been treated to the pleasure of seeing the mighty Difford and Tilbrook doing their solo tour recently, it's been quite a while since Squeeze in it's entirity had made its appearance. And despite the inital pang of regret that Keith's familiar, shiny bald head was missing, is it okay to use the horrendous cliche that they were worth the wait? That they rocked the place? That they were better than ever before . . . ?
Well, okay, perhaps not the last one, but the others were true and the guys were one hundred percent on form. Everyone has their favourite line-ups (you only have to look at the Poll to see that) but - in my own, humble opinion - it was without doubt one of the best live line-ups I've ever seen. Chris Holland brought something back to the band that has perhaps been missing ever since Jools has, Ash (hmmm, very cute) is the closest I've seen to rival Gilson's enthusiasm and rigour for the drums, and our new Bass player Hilaire may not be able to speak much English . . .but, Jesus, if he can play like that, who cares?
All in all, the guys played for a staggering two and a quarter hours.
Old favourites were aired, new tracks sampled . . . .in fact, the show
echoed the wonderousness of a half decent beer festival - you know, something
there to tickle everybody's fancy, no matter their taste. And, as always,
speak to ten different people and you'll get ten different opinions of
what was the best tracks, but my personal favourites (and, after all, I'm
writing this!) have to include a smooth, achingly perfect rendition of
"Fingertips" (live, it loses the slightly over-produced sound of the album
track) which not only boasted a Chris shit-hot on vocals, but also reminded
us of how staggering wonderful a guitarist Glenn really is. New tracks
"Play On" and "Sleeeping with a Friend" gave us a smoother, crisper edge
to the guys' music, and perhaps heralds a new sound from Squeeze altogether
- anyone who took home the new album that night will tell you that Domino
is definitely a new departure for the band. I mean, the new tracks were
so FUNKY! Speaking of which, the title track yet again illustrates how
again and again Mr. Difford continues to out-strip himself when it comes
to such magnificant lyrics. "Domino", which relays the story of driving
home drunk and being stopped by the police, sees Glenn singing sheepishly,
In all, we were blessed the opportunity of hearing no less than seven
of the twelve new tracks live, and all were given the appropriate rousing
reception. Although I felt that "To Be a Dad" and "Donkey Talk" weren't
quite as crowd pleasing as the others (including "Bonkers" and "Little
King", amongst others), it was nevertheless a monster set with a monster
performance. Glenn's guitar decided that it was a little crowd-shy and
couldn't be heard during "Jolly" (despite Glenn's desperate attempts to
hold it up to the microphone!), so the deathly silent room was treated
to a Tilbrook acapella . . . we had a funky, bass-driven rendition of "Take
Me", complete with the album version's extended piano solo in the middle
. . . "Goodbye Girl" just gets better and better at each gig . .
. and one of my all time fav. Squeeze tracks. "Annie" had the place rockin'!
How come they just keep
So, there you have it. An irrpressive mix of old and new, with the guys playing some tracks that are played far too infrequently, and the usual others played just too damned frequently! But, to be honest, that didn't matter. On some tours, hearing tracks like "Hourglass" and "Take Me" and "Footprints" again and again is enough to drive you insane. But not Friday night. No, to hear the old stuff loud and live again after such a long break, to do the duh-nuh-duh-duh-duhhhh-duh-duhnuhduhduhhhhs to "Black Coffee" again, to jump up and down during "Hourglass" and tip your pint everywhere, to sing the backing vocals (badly) to "Cool for Cats" again . . . .I think I'd not only forgotten how good they are (for these are the tracks that are almost inevitably skipped on the CD player) but also how much FUN they are, too. How nuts everyone goes when the band break into the intros and the sounds bound round the room . . . how incredible Squeeze's presence is, their skill and sound and delight and passion for what they're doing.
Jesus, I know that I had forgotten, even just a little bit. Had you?
Well, I'm not a "fanatic". Just a music lover who digs Squeeze and really enjoyed their last show in Dublin (Olympia Theatre).
The show in Vicar Street looked like it was going to be brilliant : a new venue, great sound system, great seating etc.
Unfortunately my enjoyment of the show was completely ruined by the ignorant idiots who spent most of the night talking to each other !
The band were tight and played a good mixture of new material : not that I could hear it. It was truly disappointing.
Being a (wanna be) musician myself I can only imagine that the boys were well pissed off. If you happen to speak with them, please send my apologies on behalf of the few people who were there to enjoy and *listen*.
Hopefully my (shhhhh) recording of the show will sound ok ;-)
I saw this good band last night. I know it is kind of off topic
at the moment but I will go on
A SUPERB gig at Middlesbrough even by their own ridiculously high standards. Two hours of sheer entertainment.
Just to get all the clothing issues out of the way first, Glenn was
kitted out in a smart blue/grey suit and a smart shirt. In fact he
was as smart as Chris, and even kept his jacket on for the full night.
Someone has already commented on his lead guitar work this year, and
The set list was very similar to the Amersham Arms so I won't duplicate. We didn't get In The Morning, but we were treated to Chris Holland singing Let The Good Times Roll and playing keyboards like his life depended on it. He has a unique way of bouncing up and down which has always amazed me when I've seen him on stage with Jools.
The biggest impression for me is that of Chris and Hilaire doing their "Status Quo meets The Shadows" stage routine. I've never seen Chris enjoy a show so much. His Go Go dancing has to be seen to be believed! He was also in fine voice, CFC was a stormer as usual, and Bonkers is great live.
The new songs fit into the set well, and they are better live than I expected. Despite what I said yesterday on the list, Play On could well be a future classic! The old songs were obviously great too - you haven't heard Take Me I'm Yours until you've heard Hilaire's funky bass line.
I can't understand all the fuss about how gorgeous Ash is - he looks just like me. (Ahem!) All I will say is watch his facial impressions if you see them live He is one of those people who sticks his tongue out when concentrating and he must have had chapped lips by the end of the night!
We had all the usual quirks which differentiate one superb night from another, like Chris snapping a string at the beginning of the second song and finishing it on an acoustic. The repaired guitar then snapped another string later during Goodbye Girl, but Chris just played on with what was left! Third Rail, was excellent on the second attempt when they all decided to play it!
It was great to see Squeeze as a BAND again. They seem to have developed a good rapport and are playing well together. Finally, if you are going to the UK tour, do yourself a favour and leave the bar earlier than usual to see the support act! Dean Johnson did a great job and I may even buy his album when I see them again in Leeds on 6th December. Twenty two days and counting.....
From Stephen Towler:
Well I saw the band (I can't bring myself to refer to men almost as old as myself as 'boys') in Middlesborough last night.
They played for just under two hours. It was a real treat!
The have come on in leaps and bounds as a unit since I saw them this summer in Nottingham. I still miss Keith Wilkinson but there is no doubt Hilaire is a first class Bass player. His contributions to a reggae style version of 'Goodbye Girl' and to 'Take Me I'm Yours' were excellent. Christopher Holland, in particular seems to be finding his feet and contributing more, he even took lead vocal on a version of 'Let The Good Times Roll', a song I've seen them do more than once with Jools - it was uncanny!
The songs that I remember them playing are (not in this order): Electric Trains; 3rd Rail; Cool for Cats; Footprints; Hourglass; To Be A Dad; Walk Away; Melody Motel; Goodbye Girl; It's Over; Fingertips; Up The Junction; Domino; Some Fantastic Place; This Summer; Pulling Mussels from the Shell; Take Me I'm Yours; Tempted; Is that Love; Annie Get Your Gun; Black Coffee in Bed; Donkey Talk; Little King; Bonkers; Prisoner; Let The Good Times Roll.
All this and I got to buy the CD too! The merchandise looks like the stuff that was available at this summers US dates, emblazoned with the web site address, apart from a 'Domino' tour T-shirt and booklet.
If you live in the UK, anywhere near one of the dates, and you don't go you deserve to pointed out in the street and laughed at! My next show is Blackburn on the 21st and I can't wait.
They played a good selection of album tracks and hit singles, with new songs played in-between. I can remember the majority of the songs played (bar maybe one or two):
The Domino Album tracks played:
What surprised me most of all was that Glenn was NOT wearing "bright" clothing! He was wearing a grey suit. Chris was also wearing a suit, and when Glenn started to introduce the new members of the band to the audience, said "Chris wears that suit all the time. He wears it to weddings, and he goes to bed and sleeps in it!"
The new songs were good, but you could tell by looking at the crowd's reaction that most of them did not know them. As an introduction to "Play On", which was the third new-album track they played, Chris said "now we are going to play a good one" - I think maybe they were a bit put-off by the non-reaction the new stuff was receiving. Still, I am sure that with time, they will become as familiar as all of there previous work.
Another memorable comment by Chris was when a young lady got up from her seat, made her way down to the front of the stage and starting to dance enthusiastically - only for one of the stewards to forcibly frog-march her back to her seat. This (quite understandably) got a hostile reaction from Chris, who said "Ignore that man in the bow-tie at the back, if you want to dance, go ahead" - good for him! :) As soon as Chris had said that, the aisles were totally packed with everyone dancing away.
Chris Holland played "Let the Good Times Roll", and it was a great rockin' song, showcasing his superb vocal talent. He plays just as well as Jools, but his voice is better.
Glenn did some absolutely smashing guitar solo pieces at the end of some of the songs - there was one he did which lasted a full 10 minutes in length, and his hand was strumming so fast that I could almost see smoke coming from the strings! His 10-minute ending left me watching him with my mouth wide open, he was that good. As you would expect, Glenn's brilliant playing got a lot of the audience clapping madly.
All in all it was a great show, and as it was the first time I saw the boys live, I was very impressed - they had me dancing and singing away in no time!
To all the guys in the US/Canada, if Squeeze do any overseas dates you are in for a treat!!!
I actually think that some of the songwriting on this album is among the best I've heard from them. A lot of people are saying that it doesn't sound like Squeeze, but I think it is a natural next album after Ridiculous. To Be A Dad and Domino are typical Squeeze songs. I agree with Chris Difford about sounding like older Squeeze, but only some of the songs. What's Wrong with this Picture, and A Moving Story in particular.
I saw them last night and the new songs fitted easily into the set.
They were really cooking and every new song got a very good reaction. Domino
and Little King were amongst the best of the night. Glenn got very excited
at one point and said that after playing for a couple of weeks, they have
now stepped up to another level. I won't go through the set list because
I think it is the same as the other shows, but there were a couple of nice
Anyway, back to my original point. I've been to see Squeeze many times. Usually, when they release new material, you can tell which songs are new, even if not a fan. Last night, you couldn't tell, and each new number got a very good response. If you were to ask somebody who only new the older hits, they couldn't tell you which was newer: Prisoner or Sleeping with a Friend. On leaving the auditorium I passed by the merchandise stall, and the CD seemed to be selling very well, and so it should.
The new album is Squeeze NOW, and it is becoming my all time favourite.
From Anjela Duran:
The show in Hemel last night was outstanding!! The new songs are sounding better each time I hear them live, and all the guys seem really into it, and look like they're enjoying themselves. Chris Holland singing was a change and he sounded great and relaxed (better voice than Jools!)
BUT the highlight, a girl got up on stage and made a beeline for.......Chris D to kiss him!!! He seemed to enjoy it and played up to her making a comment about what a pity it was that he didn't have a hotel room that night!!!!
Dean Johnson was very good, but I'm a big Nick Harper fan and was disappointed he didn't play for longer!, though he did get up with the band towards the end!
So if you're going to any UK shows, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Next stop Glasgow for me, then London...
From Aidan Pedreschi:
Another excellent concert by Squeeze last night, everyone of them were on fire, "Mr Lovepants" as Glenn called C Difford got highly embarrased by the very attractive young woman who started kissing him. Glenn's guitar playing gets better and better - what I'm going to say next will probabaly get me into trouble, but here goes (deep breath)............ I reckon on present form that Squeeze should bring out a blues based album, glenn was playing some great bluesy guitar last night and you could tell the band was really enjoying it - afterall they have been singing the blues for the last 25 years - don't anyone tell me that alot of their lyrics don't relate to the blues eg. woman problems, drink problems etc. Who knows, it may do for their career what it has done to Gary Moore's!!!!
Back to the concert - I was standing behind Nick Harper (didn't know it at the time though) when Glenn rushed over to him and gave him the guitar - for a second I thought he was heading for me - which would have been really embarrasing as I can just about play 3 chords!!, Glenn then went back to his microphone and continued singing, at the end of the song Glenn went to the front of the stage infront of Nick and laid down and was cheering him on, Glenn looked so happy, he was kicking his legs up and down and acting like a real fan!!
Can't wait to see them again soon...
Well, it was a miracle I made it at all, Wednesday night. After one catastrophe after another, I only made it after missing BOTH of the bloody support acts and without taking my usual detour to the bar. Oh, well . . . I'm just trying to console myself with the fact I got there at all and trying not to think of the hour's drive back and the fact I had to be up at 6.30am the following day to get to work . . .
As usual, someone somewhere ensured that Squeeze were playing at a seated venue, which meant that I had to sit in my seat and squirm my way through the opening track, Prisoner, fighting the urge to leap up and start jiggling around. On opening, the crowd were less than enthusiastic, and the comments around me were not encouraging. "What did you say these guys were again?" asked a girl to her mate behind me as I struggled to remain seated. "My Mum says that they must be getting on a bit by now," her companion sniggered, "But then, if they've been going THIS long, then they can't be that bad, can they?" I guess that was a consolation, although I'm not really sure . . . but thanks for your opinions anyway, girls . . .
Glenn rescued me, though. Even as the final chords to Prisoner were swirling round the room and slowly dying off, he eyed the crowd warily before offering the small space before the stage for those of us who couldn't content ourselves with tapping a delicate foot and smiling benignly. Please feel free to get up and dance, he said (pleaded?) as the stampede rushed forward. "And we promise not to make fun of anyone who wishes to remain seated and watch the show in a grown-up, respectable way". Yeah, whatever, Glenn . . .
So after surging forward and finding myself positioned quite nicely beneath Mr. Tilbrook himself, I was finally free to enjoy the show as I felt best, without fear of reprisal. And as I commenced my jiggling, I turned my head to cast a quick glance round the hall ... and, you know, it's true. We're all vertically challenged, without a single tall guy to spoil the view!
Again, I don't think that it's possible to stress to everyone just how much the guys are enjoying this tour. For the two and a quarter odd hours they were on, you could quite plainly see that every single member of the band was on a high; Chris was grooving, Ash was doing that funny thing he does with his tongue (watch him - you'll see what I mean), Hilaire was so smooth you could have mistaken him for a piece of glass, Chris H. spent the whole time with his eyes closed, *feeling* the music, and Glenn . . .well, Glenn was just doing his usual arsing about. You know, jumping up and down, laughing at weirdos in the crowd (cos - let's face it - they do get them) and conducting the crowd in multi-chorused backing vocals. You know, the usual . . .
The set hasn't varied all that much from Amersham. The only minor changes in both content and order included Jolly being dropped from the set (much to my delight), and new track In the Morning - which was played at Amersham - also not getting an airing (and this time, that was to my dismay). Tracks from the new album - which, incidently, are much more fan-friendly now that I can at least hum the tune now even though I still don't know all the words - included Little King, Play On, Bonkers, Slept with a Friend, Donkey Talk and To be a Dad - as well as the title track - and I still think that all of this new material is bringing out some of the best live performances the band has ever given. And although the tracks from Domino are still getting a somewhat fickle and indecisive response, I nevertheless think that it's sounding a helluva lot better each and everytime I hear it. I've still a problem with Donkey Talk, though - not only is it one of my least favs. from the album, but I think that it's just too slow and tedious for a live, not-overly-familiar-with-all-their-stuff audience. If anyone disagrees, please shout me down, but I'm trying to be honest, okay?! Just compare it with Little King, or Play On or Slept with a Friend - you're just not getting the same response. The latter tracks get everyone dancing, even though the songs are unfamiliar, but in Donkey Talk (And To Be a Dad, but to a lesser extent) everyone was just kind of standing there, not knowing what to do . . . in fact, I think the correct term is A Toilet Break Track!
And, of course, besides the new stuff there was plenty of the tried'n'tested tracks to keep those of us who don't know the new album suitably amused. Once again, we were treated to the re-vamped Fingertips, although, this time, I felt that the smooth guitar solos and instrumental breaks dragged on a little too long - perhaps? That's not to say I didn't enjoy - there's nothing better than watching Glenn getting really carried away in his solos! - but, again, I thought that the less-appreciative members of the audience found it a little tiresome. Again, all criticism invited . . . !
But despite a troublesome set, with guitar amps going down and some small feedback, it was nevertheless another blinder of a show (despite the lame lightshow during Domino - all the former criticism was accurate, I'm afraid!). As previously mentioned, the guys' enjoyment of what they're do is so staggeringly obvious, it's impossible not to be infected by their enthusiasm. By the time the second encore had come around (during which the house-lights had come back on again and Chris had to come on and call everybody back as they started to leave!!) and they broke into the opening chords of Annie - personally, one of my favourite live tracks - I knew that it didn't matter that I was going to be late for work the following day, or that I had long drive back. It was all totally worth it.
In fact . . . remember the girls who were sniggering behind me at the start of the show? Well, as I was making my way to the door, I heard one ask the other, "That was fantastic! Do you think they play anywhere near here again during this tour?" to which she then started singing Goodbye Girl as we walked through the doors.
Talk about a conversion . . .
Prisoner. Another Nail, Domino, Trains, It's Over, Walk Away, S.F.P., Donkey, Tempted, Junction, Summer, Bonkers, Melody, Play On, Fingertips, Dad, Good Times, Take Me, Is That Love, 3rd Rail, King, Goodbye, Mussels, Cats
1st Encore - Sleeping, Footprints, Hourglass
From Kay Jennings:
Well what can I say that others haven't said already? It's TWO YEARS
since I saw the full band live, but was it worth the wait? You bet it was!
It was two and a quarter hours of sheer bliss (though since I spent the
whole time with my left ear six inches from a speaker stack, I'm paying
for it today!) I say it every time, but this time I really think they were
the best I've ever seen them. The new members fitted in as if they'd been
part of the band forever, they all seemed to be having such a good time,
Glenn's voice was better than ever, his sartorial elegance was unsurpassed
(has Chris been out shopping with him?) and his guitar - well - words fail
me. The set list has been covered before, but I must mention an AMAZING
rendition of Walk Away, and that sexy arrangement of Fingertips - fantastic!.
The new material went down well, though few there were familiar with it.
Here I must make a confession. I went out on the Monday morning to buy
Domino, hassling the staff at HMV because it was in a box under some other
stuff instead of being on the shelf, rushed home to play it, and thought....uh!
I was a tad disappointed, nothing really stood out, it was a bit too laid
back. Now, I'm not one of those who just likes the old favourites, though
I've followed the band since Take Me; some of the best stuff they've ever
done is on Play, SFP and Ridiculous. But it grew on me, and I have to say
that live it was GREAT! - much heavier, more guitar-driven, dare I say
it more like it should have been recorded. Bonkers, Play On, To Be A Dad,
Domino, Little King, all wonderful, but best of all was Sleeping With A
Friend. The normally reticent Bristol audience were up and dancing to them
all, possibly helped by the non-presence of the bouncers who have put me
back in my seat on more than one occasion!