It’s become a bit of an annual event, the return to Cardiff of Squeeze.
One of the most consistently good bands to come out of the.. blink and you’ll miss it, punk/new wave era, their songs were always instantly listen-able and beautifully constructed with storyboard lyrics and stunning melodies.
Not that it’s all been rosy in the Squeeze camp. Chris Difford’s newly released autobiography is a stark and honest appraisal of pop excess and the trials and tribulations of one of the industry’s favourite and much-loved bands.
Quite how he and his musical partner Glenn Tilbrook manage to be in the same room never mind the same stage, and still collaborating on such sublime music speaks volumes for a friendship that’s overcome giant obstacles yet survives to this day.
With a jaw-dropping back catalogue and a new album to boot, putting together a set-list must be an headache for a band with so many hits to their name yet Squeeze manage to keep their audience happy with tunes both old and new, with the new songs from their latest effort The Knowledge slotting in effortlessly alongside the big hitters, even opening with a newby Please Be Upstanding such is their confidence with their new material.
It was quickly becoming a master-class as Annie Get Your Gun, Take Me I’m Yours, the brilliant Hourglass. Followed by a new song A&E brought a massive response from the sell-out crowd early in the set, all played at a rapid pace.
Whilst only Difford and Tilbrook remain from their early days, they still manage to maintain a band mentality with great contributions all round and the addition of a brass section raised the ante giving the songs a powerfully different edge.
The new single Innocence In Paradise was typical Squeeze with Tilbrook’s vocal blending perfectly with Difford’s lower, rougher voice and was one of the evening’s highlights with a driving rhythm, but naturally it was the likes of Tempted, Up The Junction the beautiful Goodbye Girl that threatened to bring the house down along with two stalwarts to end proceedings, Cool For Cats and Black Coffee In Bed.
A stunning evening supplied by a quite stunning band.