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.
The year 2017 was a good year for revisiting old friends as they returned to remind us that they truly still “got it.” In the past year, Parklife DC reviewed a great deal of musicians and bands, and the performances that really distinguished themselves often came as something of a pleasant surprise.
“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.
Singer-songwriter Wesley Stace will hit the road to open UK new wavers Squeeze, in support of Wesley Stace’s John Wesley Harding, and the show comes to 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Nov. 28. It’s sold out, but Parklife DC reminds you to get there early to see Wesley Stace if you’re already going!
Legendary songwriters Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford form the backbone of Squeeze, and the gents are bringing the latest incarnation of their new wave band to 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Nov. 28. You can win tickets to see them with Parklife DC by joining a free raffle at Dodge City on Thursday, Oct. 19.
I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.
That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.
Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)
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.
“This song has been used by two presidential campaigns,” Dave Wakeling said of his cover of “I’ll Take You There” by The Staple Sisters, “and both presidents served two terms! So if you fancy being president of America, it appears that I’m your man! I’ll take you there!”
The number, of course, was used by the presidential campaigns of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, but Dave wasn’t overtly political in his appearance at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Oct. 11. He and The English Beat got down to performing the 1994 version of “I’ll Take You There,” recorded by Dave’s former band General Public, with vigor.