Everything old is new again as classic UK band Squeeze is back on the road, in the Americas as an acoustic tour featuring founding members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, playing a lively two-night sold out run recently in town and promoting Cradle to the Grave (Virgin/EMI Records), their thirteenth album and first new music since 1998.
As a recording of ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ kicked in, the duo rose from adjoining single beds in flannel pajamas, to eat breakfast at a center stage table. A large video screen was their backdrop and various beverages and miscellany were strewn about to give the impression of a small London flat, maybe next door to Wallace and Gromit.
Openers ‘Take Me I’m Yours’, and hits ‘Cool for Cats’ and 'Black Coffee in Bed’ (Tilbrook solo on keys for this one as Difford changed, remarking “yep, split up already”) set the “morning” mood right, with the spectacled Difford situated stage right, while Tilbrook stayed at the left, moving between sitting keyboard and standing guitar.
The new ‘Nirvana’ kicked off the new numbers from Cradle, this was sounding slightly psychedelic, but still easily fitting within the band’s canon.
Man in a Golden Cape
Difford took over for his own mini-set that started with ‘Fat as a Fiddle’, the result of deciding against a personal trainer when the band first reunited. The strumming ‘Cowboys are my Weakness’ was originally written for k.d. lang, but rejected because “she doesn’t sing about blokes” then Tilbrook rejoined for the first set closing ‘Up the Junction’.
Tilbrook started the second hour with his own solo mini-set starting with the bluesy ‘Still’ and ending with the floating ‘The Elephant Ride’ before Difford rejoined the stage for the peppy ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. As a result of the Q+A, ‘Only 15’ from the setlist was shelved in favor instead, of ‘The Truth’.
The title track from the new album resonated with its Beatles-esque harmonies yet still sounded like classic Squeeze. A second round of Q+A had the duo sing ‘Happy Birthday’, asked about most and least favorite songs, and Tilbrook revealed his favorite all-time song to be the 1937 Gershwin classic, ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’.
Not going “back to bed”, the duo instead left to standing applause and cheers, though that would be one interesting flat to live next door to, despite its “at odds” neighbors. Catch the duo in their flannel pajamas playing their hits, before their landlord takes notice and tries to evict them.
Remaining Squeeze Tour Dates:
9 Dec – Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
10 Dec – The Wilbur, Boston, MA
11 Dec – The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT
12 Dec – Paramount Theater, Huntington, NY
13 Dec – Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY
14 Dec – Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ
16 Dec – Troy Music Hall, Troy, NY
17 Dec – The PlayStation Theater, New York, NY
18 Dec – The PlayStation Theater, New York, NY
Squeeze at the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis (25 Nov 2015)