It has becoming a bit of an annual event for Glenn Tilbrook to play Cardiff, this time the city’s The Globe being the final venue at the end of his 41-date Best Of Times tour.
The Squeeze frontman, this time solo and playing a mainly acoustic set, is certainly always good value as he raced through 25 songs spanning his career both as a solo artist and with his very successful and much-loved band mates.
It was a packed house that first welcomed Dirty Vegas singer, composer and Grammy winner Steve Smith for a short but entertaining set that got the evening very nicely started, enjoyed by the fedora-wearing Tilbrook, positioned discretely at the back of the audience.
With Squeeze poised to go out on tour late next year it was a good opportunity far too good to miss, to catch one the industry’s most acclaimed songwriters and highly underrated guitarists and catch some old Squeeze favourites, a few covers, solo numbers, in a performance that should tide fans over until band reconvenes.
Opening proceedings with a funky acoustic version of Take Me I’m Yours followed by Someone Else’s Bell from the band’s wonderful East Side Story album, it may have been a case of being de-mob following a lengthy tour, but Tilbrook showed no signs of tiredness with a willingness to interact with a very noisy and boisterous audience members, most of whom were clearly in Christmas sing-a-long party mode.
Though his song-writing comes very much to the fore when his work is being dissected by the critics, for musicians in the audience, his guitar playing was a joy to behold, with his hands a blur as they raced up and down the frets during some frenetic soloing. Be it bashing his way through a classic Summertime Blues or Friday On My Mind, complete with crowd-participation or singing the beautifully repentant Other World, Tilbrook delighted fans with a truly exceptional set that had everyone beaming and singing at the top of their voices.
If that wasn’t enough he ended the evening with a brilliant Tempted, with the excellent Goodbye Girl being a fitting finale – until the next time.
pix – Tony Chapman