My Chills and Thrills and Spills – Squeeze in Concert

Documentary alert – A while back I did a series on Aretha Franklin, mentioning the fact that she had done a gospel documentary called Amazing Grace. That doc was released after her death and is now available On-Demand, iTunes, etc. Haven’t seen it yet but it is on my list and if you are a fan, should be on yours, too.

“Who doesn’t love Squeeze? Nobody I think. Infectious pop earworm stuff.” I wrote that as the opening line to my Squeeze post of a couple years ago. When I posted about them on Facebook after seeing them, a friend said, “I LOVE Squeeze! Ahhhh…so many college memories! Tempted by the fruit of another…la la la I think I wore out my cassette (yes, cassette…and an original sony walkman!).”

It had never at any point in time occurred to me to see Squeeze, not for a minute. For me they were always one of those bands you hear on the radio, dig their stuff then go buy their Greatest Hits album. But then I found out (initially too late) that they were coming to one of my favorite venues, the Tupelo (NH) Music Hall.

I say “too late” because by the time I heard they were coming they were sold out. And then I realized, damn, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime shot, especially given that it was by no means certain that Difford and Tillbrook would always both be part of any re-formed Squeeze.

So imagine my delight when I woke up one morning with an email newsletter blast. Apparently, the band was booked somewhere after their gig at the Tupelo and something went awry. So they went back to the management of this venue and advised them they had a hole in their schedule and could they come back again. The venue happily agreed and seeing this I quickly bought two tickets (in the second row, no less.) I bought two reckoning that my wife would go because she likes the band.

Now if you go back and look at my earlier posts, you’ll see I go to a fair amount of shows as there is no substitute for live music. But I have become very, very jaded lately, attending shows more, enjoying them less. But I am here to tell you that I had more fun at this show than I have had in quite some time.

It really did become a singalong but in the best way. Glenn Tillbrook – who does virtually all the lead vocals – at no point in time stopped singing and expected us to take over or made us “put our hands together” or wave them the fuck in the air back and forth or hold up your cell phone or any of that other stupid phony show biz horseshit.

He just sang – and played guitar quite well – and Difford did his “one octave lower” harmony signing and the 7-piece (drums, percussion, bass, two keyboards plus pedal steel, two guitars) just cooked and cooked. What am an amazingly tight band. And there were times where literally everybody in the band was singing.

I want to here single out Yolanda Charles, the bass player you see pictured. She is a well-known quantity in England (All English bands must be All-English apparently) having played with Paul Weller, Dave Stewart, Robbie Williams, and Mick Jagger. (As well as her own band). She, along with the percussionists, brought out the latent funk that’s been lurking in some of these songs.

Did I record some of these songs? Yes, I did. I sang quietly so as not to override Tillbrook’s singing. I sing quite a bit better than he does, of course. You understand.

Here’s the band doing one of your (and my) favorites, “Pulling Mussels from a Shell,” a song about being on holiday and having a bit of slap and tickle “behind the chalet.”

Next up, Difford sings “Cool for Cats” in a Cockney accent. Having spent some time in London back in the day, I am, of course, an expert. I know, for instance, that the “Sweeney” refers to England’s Flying Squad that investigates robberies. I think it may go back to Sweeney Todd, the (infamous) Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

This song goes through all sorts of bizarre situations (“The Indians send signals from the rocks above the pass”) and winds up with, er – a little slap and tickle!

Slowing it down a little bit, let’s go with my friend Barbara’s favorite song, “Tempted” which is about, well, you know. Or at least the temptation of that. “I said to my reflection let’s get out of this place.”

Next up – “Slap and Tickle!” (You might by now be rightfully accused of sensing a theme. I’m with you on that.)

I’ll just shut the hell up here and leave you with two more, the glorious “Goodbye Girl,” and of course, “Take Me I’m Yours” perhaps the greatest song of all time (except for all the other ones about which I said exactly the same thing.)

The band is on tour and, trust me, if you dig this band you will have a blast. Below is a Spofify list which reflects (mostly) that night’s set list. They inadvertently – some might say criminally – left off “Another Nail From My Heart” so I’ve rectified that situation without having to involve the Sweeney in any way, shape, or form.

The douchebags at Spotify made some change so that the list no longer shows up on my blog. So hopefully this link works ok. I await their next “improvement” in two weeks since they are an Agile shop.

Spotify link

Members Glenn Tilbrook
Chris Difford
Simon Hanson
Stephen Large
Steve Smith
Yolanda Charles

20 thoughts on “My Chills and Thrills and Spills – Squeeze in Concert

    1. Easy-peasy. He is a wise man and he knows that many of the women he befriends at discos have dogs. He carries a bone with him to give the dog, the pacify it while he and his lady friend have coffee and discuss world issues, I’m aware of no other meaning and frankly, we are shocked – shocked! – that you might entertain any other.

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  1. Sounds like you and your wife had a great time at this concert, so I would call this mission accomplished!

    Other than “Pulling Muscles (From the Shell)” and “Tempted,” I don’t believe I know anything else from Squeeze. Just yesterday, they played The Stone Pony’s summer stage in Asbury Park, and I saw a bunch of clips some of my Facebook friends posted – sounded pretty good as well.

    While I think the above tunes are fine songs, I’m not sure I would have invested in a ticket, had I known about their Stone Pony gig in advance, which was the best opportunity to see them in my area.

    It goes back to the old dilemma that you simply can’t go to all music acts. A good friend and music connaisseur from Germany has strongly encouraged me to see Little Feat. They are playing in my area in late October. Undoubtedly, the musicianship in that band is outstanding and I like them in general and ticket prices are not outrageous. Still, I wouldn’t call myself an outright fan, so I’m mulling it over.


    1. As a big vocal/pop lover that you are, I wasn’t aware you didn’t know them that well. Boy, you owe it to yourself to at least give the live ones a shot on the post. From the Spotify list throw in “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Cradle to the Grave,” “Black Coffee in Bed,” “Another Nail from my Heart,” and you have some of the best of the best.

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    2. PS. I saw Santana and Doobies. Great show but I wasn’t in the best of moods. Still, it’s well worthy of a writeup. Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if there were, say, a Doobies tribute band traveling about opening for a Santana tribute band? Kind of like a parallel universe.

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      1. Looking forward to your review. And even though it sounds like you were not in the best of moods, I hope you still enjoyed the concert. I thought the Doobies were excellent when I saw them last year, as was Santana who I saw last a few years ago when he briefly revived the classic Santana band for the Santana IV album and a supporting tour.

        As for tributes to the two artists, while I know a pretty good Doobies tribute act (The Doobie Others), I’ve yet to see a compelling Santana tribute.


        1. Yes, it was due in part to my seating expectation. I thought I was inside the shed but we were way the fuck back by the lawn. It didn’t sit well with me and then I didn’t wanna pay 15 dollars for a beer. I was pouting like a big fucking baby. But I got over it and dug it. I’ll share some compelling stuff. And yeah, as I think about it, it would be really, really tough to pull off a Santana tribute band. You need not only great singers (who can also sing in Spanish) but also a band that can hit those Latin rhythms as well as play jazz. And then a supreme guitarist as well.

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        2. True, Santana must be a challenge to cover as a tribute band. I’m planning to see a free summer concert by a promising sounding Springsteen tribute act this evening, called The Promised Land. Supposedly, they also play some Southside Johnny and Little Steven.

          Perhaps not as daunting as Santana, though not easy to capture either. I feel Springsteen’s got a pretty distinct voice. And playing Clemons has to be challenging for the sax guy. They also got a trumpet player. I dig horn sections.

          Looks like it should be fun. I figure the worst case scenario is they sound more like a cover band playing music I dig big time. And all of it for free – not much of a downside here!😀


        3. There was a Springsteen tribute band that rolled through here not too long ago I was half-tempted to go but didn’t. Curious to hear how this went, oh lord of all tribute bands. Report back.

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        4. Promised Land were pretty good, so I had a great time. However, while they apparently have been together for 15-plus years, I don’t think they are a full-time tribute band. It also appears they tour the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area only.

          Of course, nothing can truly replicate The Boss. Check out this friggin clip I just posted. Springsteen is truly in a league of his own!


        5. Like most tribute bands, there were moments that were really great and others that were okay. I also think part of my reaction acknowledges my belief that it is nearly impossible to capture Springsteen in all of his mighty.


  2. Real good band Doc. Doesn’t surprise me they put on a good show. I’m with your wife on ‘Tempted’. The original had 3 voices which I really like in any band especially when they’re good and complement each other. I seen a concert on PBS they did in Central Park a few years ago. Fantastic. They look like they really enjoy playing with each other and for the audience. Win/win. What a great slate of songs. The sense of humor is also a bonus.


    1. You would have enjoyed this. I love the sound of those guys – one high, one deep – singing together. And yeah, that catalog is fantastic. That show was the most fun I’ve had with my pants on in a long time.

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