23 November 2012 (gig)
29 November 2012
When bands like Squeeze go on tour, who are they playing to? The hard-core fan base that wish to hear B-sides from less successful singles? Or the casual fans who wish to have a sing-a-along on a Friday night to their classics? It is a difficult thing for established bands, or those revisiting former glories. Mostly, the former glories are what fill the venues, so it is brave that tonight Squeeze start with a new song.
But having said that, the band's efforts as a post-reunion act are impeccable as you try to decipher if the song they are playing is new or an album track half remembered. And their album tracks were of such a high calibre as their fame-making singles. This is a testament to Difford-Tilbrook’s song writing abilities and the band’s finesse on stage. But is this what Friday’s audience wanted?
It seems most of the crowd are not too impressed. Standing in the middle of the floor you’d hear snippets of conversation and gossip, begging the question: why listen to the new songs when all you want to hear is Cool for Cats? The fate of post-reunion bands might just be this type of inattention as friends take turns to buy rounds in-between the hits of their prime, both band and fan. The proof came when one bloke stops nattering to sing drunkenly Labelled With Love, before going back to his conversation about the Premier League.
Squeeze seem to take it in good stride, “This is a new one that we’re really proud of” says Glenn Tilbrook before launching into a nostalgic ditty about watching Starsky and Hutch instead of studying school books. A rose tinted piece of pop which could stand with their earlier efforts, except here people only want to sing Up The Junction.
The band also seem to be aware of this as they, in rapid succession, give the fans what they want, launching into Some Fantastic Place, Hourglass, Is That Love?, Pulling Mussels, Up The Junction and Tempted without pausing for breath. They end the night with an encore of Cool for Cats and an extended sing-a-long of Goodbye Girl. For many of those that have battled flooded roads and disrupted trains to get here tonight, it just about makes up for the hassle. But you wonder if anyone will remember any of those new songs the band are so proud of.