Squeeze – The Difford & Tilbrook Songbook

Squeeze are ploughing through their autumn tour, with many dates unsurprisingly being sold out. The autumn tour is the ‘The Difford And Tilbrook Songbook 2019’, which sees the legends play their extensive list of hits as well as some rare, lesser known gems from their back catalogue and solo careers. These guys have been going for 45 years – there are a lot of songs to choose from!

Squeeze are supporting the Trussell Trust on their autumn tour. The Trussell Trust (www.trusselltrust.org) is a network of food banks throughout the country who provide food and other essentials, such as toiletries and hygiene products, to people in the local community. If you are able to spare some (non-perishable) food, toiletries, or even some money, you will find multiple food drop points and collection boxes at all venues on this tour. There will be a special EP for sale at the concerts with proceeds from the sale of the EP going to the Trussell Trust.

After a little issue with my tickets which was resolved only in time for me to see the last 3 songs from support act Heaven 17, of course I was totally gutted as the last time I saw them was 2011. However, the final track or their set was a twelve-inch version of ‘Temptation’ and it was goosebumpingly epic. They certainly know how to warm up a crowd and they are still on form.

The Cambridge Corn Exchange was standing room only and it was completely rammed, I don’t think I have ever seen it that full, hardly a surprise when you have a band of this calibre on the stage.

Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Dilford were joined by their band Stephen Lange (keyboards), Yolanda Charles (bass), Simon Hanson (drums), Steve Smith (percussion) and Melvin Duffy (guitar and keyboard) and what a brilliant full sound this made to these fabulous songs. The band members were individually introduced by a voice over as they came onto the stage and got into position, not seen that before and it was a nice touch.  

There were a lot of songs to cover and the first 3 tracks rolled into each other before we could clap and they say ‘Helllooooo’. Then it was much of the same as they belted out track after glorious track, cleverly merging them together so we barely had time to clap and cheer our appreciation. There was the odd quick ‘Thanks’ and the next song had already started. We had a tiny ditty from Chris about ¾ hour through, but he was filling time while the band removed themselves from the stage as he and Glenn were about to perform together for a couple of tracks. One being ‘Slap & Tickle’ and then band members came on one by one to build the instruments and it was this high energy long musical interlude – totally brilliant. The accordion came out at some point.

‘Tempted’ was a stripped-out version with guitar and piano, which was delightful and Chris snag ‘Cool for Cats’. Songs included ‘Cradle To The Grave’, ‘Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)’, ‘In Quintessence’, ‘Please Be Upstanding’, ‘King George Street’ and so many, many more.

The stage lighting and the back screen showing a variety of videos and graphics worked well with the set. There was lack of movement on stage, apart from the energy oozing from Lange and Smith, but of course they were all concentrating on playing.

Although they potentially lost the dynamics of connecting to the audience with minimal chat, they probably managed to play the most songs in a gig ever! And that’s what the fans want to hear.

Glenn’s voice sounds great, the sound balance was good as we could hear the piano pieces. The variety of the energy through the night was enjoyable and the crowd had a fabulous time sharing these songs that have been in our lives for a long time.