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Live: Squeeze @ O2 Indigo London.

Live: Squeeze @ O2 Indigo London.

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

It’s hard to believe that the latest Squeeze album is the band’s first new work in 17 years. Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford – the songwriting powerhouse of Squeeze – have, of course, done their fair share of writing, recording and touring with other projects in the intervening time. However, I’ve caught them live a number of times in the last couple of decades and they’ve pulled off several wonderfully entertaining and varied shows. Have they really just been in permanent reunion status all this time? Was it all just too much fun for me to notice how long it has been since they’ve said ‘And now we’re going to play a new one….’?

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Back to the present and Squeeze are indeed releasing their first album since 1998’s Domino and, to add an extra flurry of excitement, the music was written for the BBC series of the same name: Cradle To The Grave. The TV programme, which is currently being aired, is a drama penned by writer and broadcaster Danny Baker and based on his childhood in south London. In a nice twist, it’s Baker himself who takes to the stage to introduce the band tonight.

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze open up with the rambling fun of Hourglass before throwing us headlong into early classics Is That Love and Another Nail For My Heart. The set unfolds with a tussle for space between the old and the new. In the well-loved favourites corner we recognise Tempted, Pulling Mussels From The Shell and Goodbye Girl, whilst in the fresh new starters corner we’re introduced to Beautiful Game, Nirvana and Snap, Crackle And Pop.

 

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Difford and Tilbrook are now the only original members of Squeeze, but tonight’s back up is deftly provided by members of The Fluffers, a band that is also a separate Tilbrook project.

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

As the night rolls on, the set continues to prove itself riddled with classic pop songs. Labelled With Love and Up The Junction get particular singalong support from the crowd. Slap And Tickle is given a new, acoustic revamp, with the band all stepping forward to form a line and taking up instruments such as accordion, double bass and mandolin to give this song about young, clumsy would-be lovers an altogether classier and more elegant make-over.

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The only thing missing from tonight is the banter that the frontmen often reel out. Perhaps we were spoiled for this with last year’s Union Chapel show in which Difford and Tilbrook presented their work in acoustic form and told stories about their life and songs. However, tonight is all about steaming ahead and letting the music talk for itself.

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London on 17 October 2015. (Imelda Michalczyk)

The encore includes Cool For Cats which, for a song largely about frustration, is a supremely uplifting and satisfiying live experience. There are also some new tunes in the encore, including Happy Days – a title which aptly reflects the feeling of walking out of a Squeeze show. I hope it’s not another 17 years before they record again although, as long as they keep touring, I’ll continue to enjoy the performances and might not even notice…

Squeeze at O2 Indigo in London
17 October 2015

Photographs & Review by Imelda Michalczyk. Imelda has her own great website right here: www.rebeladelica.com

About The Author

Imelda

I'm a photographer and writer with a passion for live music. I've been dancing wildly at gigs for as long as I can remember and since the beginning of 2008 I've been taking photographs and writing about gigs, too. My photographs have been featured in a diverse range of places – I started out shooting for punk fanzines and local newspapers and then had my work featured in CD/promotional artwork for bands and in music magazines and national newspapers. I also shoot for top London music agency Retna/Photoshot. Outside of music photography/writing, I'm learning to perform tribal fusion belly dance and to speak French. Not usually at the same time. I'm also still looking for the meaning of life (but I hear that's a slow burn). I've lived in London for quite a few years, mainly because of the wonderful range of live music here and because there are lots of artists I still wish to see through my camera lens...

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