Squeeze - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Squeeze - Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

by Lawrence Poole Rating:7 Release Date:2011-10-26

This may sounds a little tenuous, but please bear with me. Recently independent cinemas across the country have been screening a fascinating documentary called Orion: The Man Who Would Be King about a little known American country singer who sounds and looks just like Elvis. So much so, in fact, the director hints that the man in question, Jimmy Ellis, could have been the ‘real’ King’s half-brother.

If there were two current performers who could be mistaken for sharing the same parent, mannerisms and vocal style then surely it’s Squeeze’s mercurial stalwart Glen Tilbrook and Crowded House’s Neil Finn.

So much so, I’m not quite sure how I haven't spotted it before. Arriving in town on a wave of the most publicity they’ve had in years thanks to soundtracking Danny Baker’s wonderful televisual nostalgiafest, Cradle To The Grave – the South London quintet proved to be in as fine as fettle as the reports suggested.

Supported by the quite brilliant punk John Cooper Clarke, on National Poetry Day of all days, one of the greatest British songwriting partnerships since the Beatles (the debonair Chris Difford completes the twosome) showed they still have life in the old dogs yet.

Running through the majority of tracks from their 14th studio LP, the pair have lost none of their knack for crafting alt-pop gems.

Ode to our national sport, Beautiful Game, is cleverly illustrated with grainy footage from yesteryear, while disco pop-romp Nirvana is exactly what was required to get an, until then, sedate crowd up on their feet.

By the time stone cold classics like Black Coffee In Bed, Pulling Mussels and Goodbye Girl are aired, a packed out hall of 40 and 50-somethings who had given the city’s babysitting service a shot in the arm, were reliving those awkward school discos of yore, but this time with far more abandon.

Struggling with a sore throat, Tilbrook managed to hold out valiantly, brilliant supported by the dapper Stephen Large on a range of keyboards, the whirling Simon Hanson on drums and sassy Lucy Shaw on bass – Squeeze were tight and loose in all the right places.

Finishing off with the double whammy of epic narrative Up The Junction and funky Cool For Cats, Squeeze reminded everyone just what a cherished act they were and still are.

A long way off the grave in every sense of the word yet in fact.

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