(Editor’s note: This is an update of an article we originally published in December, 2015)
Even casual music fans are likely familiar Squeeze’s 80’s-era hits like Tempted, Black Coffee in Bed and Pulling Mussels from the Shell (an innocent title for a salacious topic). Those of us inclined to geekdom go quite a bit further, however, practically worshiping the band’s world-class combination of tight wordplay, lovely melodies, harmonic sophistication and monster chops. Over the years, the songwriting duo of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook has often been compared to Lennon and McCartney. That the parallel is not preposterous is a tribute to how good they are. Whereas many artists have recorded from the Beatle songbook, very few have covered Squeeze.
Maybe they’re just too quirky. Or too complex. Or too English in their very-specific references (although Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields were very local places, too). Or maybe they never got quite big enough, or weird enough, to achieve “legendary songrwriter” status. On balance, let’s just count this among life’s mysteries; and be happy that the often-fractious duo is back. In 2015, they hit the road in support of their first album of original material in 17(!) years, From the Cradle to the Grave, on the aptly named “The At Odds Couple” tour.
Their trademarks are all in place – the hooks, the easy humor, the particular harmonies (with Difford’s melodic croak underneath) and Tilbrook’s criminally-underrated guitar playing. (Seriously, the dude can absolutely wail and sing simultaneously. Don’t try this at home…)
A new, full-band lineup toured the USA in support of 2017’s “The Knowledge.” This is no nostalgia act. They’ve inventively reimagined the classics and bring passion and commitment to the new material. Plus, the new members are just killer musicians.
If they ever wander through your neck of the woods, see them. Given the band’s intermittent history, who knows when the opportunity will arise again?
Photo courtesy of SqueezeOfficial.com