An enthusiastic crowd was on hand Sunday night at The Vets in Providence when New Wave rockers Squeeze pulled into town. The sharply dressed band powered their way through several classics and a few deeper cuts on their “Squeeze Songbook” tour.
Starting out in the late 70’s, Squeeze is still led by founding members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford. Tilbrook’s vocals are amazing strong 40+ years out, sounding very much like he did on those albums back in the day.
Highlights were everywhere, as were memories sparked by the songs, many of which were part of the soundtrack of the 80’s. The band ruled on college campuses, dance clubs and MTV, with their fashionable looks and catchy hooks. Most of the songs sounded as you remember them, although a few re-arrangements were notable.
Early show highlights included the radio hit “Pulling Mussels From a Shell,” and the lesser known “King George Street.” “Goodbye Girl” was memorable as was “Annie, Get Your Gun,” the show closer that had everyone up on their feet. Other highlights included, a pair from the album East Side Story, “In Quintessence,” and “Mumbo Jumbo,” and well as “Up the Junction” from 1979’s Cool for Cats.
A stripped down “Tempted” had the crowd humming along and the encore “Black Coffee in Bed” was on hyperdrive featuring rafter-raising drum solos. “Cool for Cats” was the truer to original, a delightful cockney-inflected staccato mumble from songwriter Chris Difford. From their first hit album of the same name, the song leans more in the punk direction than pop. Definitely a crowd favorite!
Often referred to as the Beatles of their generation, Squeeze ruled radio and video in the late 70’s and 80’s, churning out hit after hit. Their signature sound involves upbeat lyrics, along with the ability to pull off key changes on the fly, while maintaining complex harmonies. It’s always a pleasure to hear them.
Squeeze will be on tour this summer with John Hall and Daryl Oates. Don’t miss them! Meanwhile, check out some photos from What’sUpRI photographer Rick Farrell.