The pop masterminds of Squeeze sang the Difford and Tilbrook Songbook at The Kennedy Center recently, and a marvelous time was had by all at the sold-out show.
Squeeze will perform at The Kennedy Center on Saturday, Aug. 17, as a date on The Difford and Tilbrook Songbook 2019, when the UK legends play their extensive list of hits as well as rare, lesser-known gems from their back catalogue and solo careers.
“Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)” by Squeeze is a song of sweet nostalgia. It inspires memories of summer vacations and young romance, and it does so in such a brilliant and successful way that the song has become timeless since its debut in 1980.
Squeeze performed the song early in their set for a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, and while welcome hits were a key part of the show, Squeeze also made it clear early they are no nostalgia act. The same clever wordsmithing, strong pop moorings, and superb musicianship that generated songs like “Pulling Mussels,” “Black Coffee in Bed,” and “Tempted” was fully on display in songs from a brand new 16th studio album, The Knowledge, in addition to being on full display during the concert.
Wow, how fresh and invigorating is the live music of Squeeze? I somehow had missed the band live in all of this time, given changes in the band’s membership over the past 40 years and various periods of hiatus, so I was not fully aware of just how powerful a band they remain in concert.
But I caught my first-ever Squeeze show at last at the 9:30 Club, where the latest iteration of the band sold out the night on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in short order. The crowd was practically bouncing off the walls in anticipation of a full Squeeze show, and boy did the band fulfill those expectations.
Founders Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are clever songwriters who know how to hook you, and once you revisit their catalog, you will find yourself drawn into a series of remarkable hits characterized by a compelling narratives and intricate melodies.