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Squeeze at Symphony Hall, Birmingham - Preview

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Reunited band celebrate release of new album
Squeeze will play Birmingham Symphony Hall on October 3, the day after the release of their new album, Cradle to the Grave.

Squeeze, Cradle to the Grave, Birmingham Symphony Hall
From cradle to grave: Squeeze (pic: Rob O'Connor)


Television viewers will already be familiar with some of the songs on the record as they feature in the BBC comedy series Cradle to Grave, based on the autobiography of writer/ presenter/ DJ Danny Baker.

Fans who saw Squeeze duo Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook performing in concert last year also had a sneak preview of the title track and the song Beautiful Game.

Squeeze, Cradle to the Grave, Birmingham Symphony Hall


Cradle To The Grave is the band's 14th studio album and is the first collection of new songs from Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook since 1998.

The TV series, set in a London council estate in the 1970s, stars comedian Peter Kay as Danny's father. Danny Baker was brought up in Deptford, the old stomping ground of Squeeze, and the band were asked to become involved at an early stage.

Glenn recalls: "When I read the book, I got in contact with Danny and said that I thought we could do something together with his book. Danny was already talking with co-writer Jeff Pope about a TV series and the mood and sentiment of Cradle were completely in sync. Danny and Jeff both loved it and everything else followed on from there."

Squeeze, Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook, Cradle to the Grave, Birmingham Symphony Hall
On the right track: Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook (Pic: Rob O'Connor)


The team behind the show was so impressed when they heard the song Cradle To The Grave it inspired the name of the show.

"The scripts were inspiring; hugely funny,'' says Chris. ''It tapped into a period that lyrically I was very familiar with, as I grew up in the same neighbourhood as Danny. We went on location to see how it was going. It gave us a spring in our step to see the quality of filming and the direction and the attention to detail.

''It was very heartening and we are grateful to be involved in something that is so refreshing and also represents our past we went to the same school, wore the same uniform, fell in love with same art teacher!"

The current Squeeze line-up on the album features Glenn Tilbrook on vocals and lead guitars, Chris Difford on vocals and acoustic guitar, Simon Hanson on drums and Stephen Large on keyboards, with Lucy Shaw and John Bentley sharing bass duties. Guest musicians include Melvin Duffy on pedal steel, Dennis Greaves on guitar and Mark Feltham on harmonica.

Squeeze formed in 1973 after Glenn responded to an ad Chris had placed in a newsagent's window. Their first EP, Packet Of Three, came out in the summer of '77 on Deptford Fun City, a label housed in the same offices as the punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue where Danny Baker was taking his first steps as a music writer.

Squeeze went on to write a dazzling collection of hook-filled hits including Cool For Cats, Take Me I'm Yours, Another Nail In My Heart, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell), Tempted, Black Coffee In Bed and Labelled With Love.

In 2008 they were awarded the Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

Squeeze, Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook, Cradle to the Grave, Birmingham Symphony Hall
Together again: Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford (pic: Rob O'Connor)


Over the years there have been solo careers and occasional separations but the songwriting duo say they stronger now than they've ever been.

"We reformed Squeeze in 2007 and things went so well, here we are eight years later'' Glenn says. ''Four years ago we agreed that if we were to carry on, we really needed to work on new material."

Chris says of their fresh songs: "We've grown up a lot in the last few years, musically. We still love and own our past, but as musicians we needed to grow."

Squeeze's 2015 UK tour dates:

OCTOBER
1: BRISTOL Colston Hall;
2: SHEFFIELD City Hall;
3: BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall;
5: LIVERPOOL Philharmonic Hall;
6: LEICESTER De Montfort Hall;
8: NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Hall;
9: CARDIFF St David's Hall;
10: SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion;
12: MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall;
13: BOURNEMOUTH Pavilion Theatre;
15: LONDON Royal Albert Hall;
16: CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange;
17: LONDON Indigo O2;
19: IPSWICH Regent;
20: OXFORD New Theatre;
21: GATESHEAD Sage 1;
23: GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall;
24: HARROGATE International Centre.

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Why? South London band showcase new album about south London life
When: October 3, 2015
Phone: 0121 345 0600
Where: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Cost: From 32.50 plus fees
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