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Alternative and Indie

Squeeze

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About

Cool cats fronted by songwriting masters Glen Tilbrook and Chris Difford

To begin with, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford were inspired by music’s great songwriting partnerships. Lennon and McCartney. The Davies brothers. By their ’80s commercial peak, many would argue that Tilbrook and Difford had joined their ranks.

Squeeze started out the old-fashioned way: an ad in a window. Difford placed it, Tilbrook answered, pianist Jools Holland and drummer Paul Gunn joined, and Squeeze was born. Harry Kakoulli joined shortly after on bass, with ex-Chuck Berry drummer Gilson Lavis replacing Paul Gunn.

The band recorded their debut EP, Packet Of Three, and self-titled debut album with John Cale – quite fittingly, seeing as their name was inspired by a disowned Velvet Underground record. While both drew attention, it was their second album, 1979’s Cool For Cats, that really kicked things off. The band notched up two No.2 singles with the title track and Up The Junction.

Argybargy built on its predecessor’s success in 1980, landing further hits with Another Nail In My Heart and Pulling Mussels (From The Shell). Holland left the band that year, replaced by Paul Carrack. The band returned in 1981 with East Side Story, produced by Elvis Costello and Roger Bechirian and featuring the fan favourites Tempted and Labelled With Love. At the end of the year, Carrack left the band and was replaced by Don Snow.

Following Sweets From A Stranger, Squeeze’s constant touring and recording took its toll and the band split up. Following a Difford and Tilbrook record, the band reunited with the core duo accompanied by Holland, Lavis and a new bassist, Keith Wilkinson. A new record, Cosi Fan Tuti, followed later that year, with Babylon And On coming in 1987.

The band endured a tumultuous period over the next few years, 1989’s Frank and 1991’s Play failing to land due to a lack of label support and the line-up turning into something of a rapidly revolving door. Ridiculous, released in 1995, fared better than its predecessors, but the band split up again after 1998’s Domino.

While Difford and Tilbrook remained busy, Squeeze stayed dormant until 2007, when the duo reformed the band with a new cast of supporting players. They re-recorded old hits for Spot The Difference in 2010 and finally returned to recording new material for 2015’s Cradle To The Grave and 2017’s The Knowledge.

In 2021, the band were announced as support on Madness's 2021 UK tour dates. Squeeze also announced a headline show in Carlisle for November 2021.