Long before you finish listening to the new Squeeze album ‘Cradle To The Grave’, you begin to realise that no one has ever come close to filling their shoes.
For those that have been willing for their return for some time now, the release of the band’s first collection of new songs in 17 years, should be marked with a celebration.
It’s 1973 in South London. A teenage Glenn Tilbrook responded to an ad placed in a newsagent’s window by Chris Difford looking for like-minded people to form a band.
Over forty years, and many incarnations later, their legacy is still intact and just as vital now as it ever was.
The new album is the sound of the new-look Squeeze back on top form and marks the return of Difford and Tilbrook on songwriting duties.
It is a beautifully-observed series of fond vignettes about childhood, growing up and the madness of the ride through life that we are all on. And what is produced is pure new wave pop magic.
Its Glasgow where the fans are the most mad!
The new tracks will no doubt stand tall among the anthems that they have given us since the 1970s including Up The Junction and Cool For Cats.
Squeeze’s 14th studio album was produced with old comrade Laurie Latham, in a refreshed band line up that now features Stephen Large on keyboards, Simon Large on drums, and Lucy Shaw on bass joining Chris and Glenn.
The first brand new album since Domino in 1998, is a joy for your ears and its is also receiving an introduction by way of a the BBC comedy series Cradle to Grave, based on Danny Baker’s memoirs and starring comedian Peter Kay.
Baker’s autobiography, Going To Sea In A Sieve, charted an eventful South London upbringing for Danny, running on parallel lines to the early lives of the Squeeze veterans. And then fate played a hand in what came next as Chris explains.
“Glenn was laid up in bed for three days when he read Danny’s book,” he said. “He played Danny Cradle to Grave and that’s it, they had a ready-made theme tune. I’ve known Danny since forever so it made sense to do something together.”
Squeeze are now in the middle of a 23-date tour of the UK and Chris has split feelings over heading out on the road again.
He said: “I always have schizophrenic feelings towards touring. Sometimes I absolutely love it, other times I find it a bit hard going, but it is always great to get out there and see the fans old and new.
“And its Glasgow where the fans are the most mad!” Chris laughed.
“They always sing along to the songs which is fantastic and they always look like they are having fun – and that’s the way that it should be because after all, it is their show too.”
Like most artists, Chris has his favourites regarding which songs make the all-important set list.
“In terms of songs from our back catalogue, Up the Junction always makes it. It’s such a great song and always get people singing along. And off the new album, I’ve really enjoyed playing Open so far and it’s had a great reception.
With such positivity, the future’s bright, the future’s Squeeze. To namecheck the first track on the new album, ‘Happy Days’ really are here again. Those lucky enough to get tickets for the tour this autumn are in for a treat.
Cradle to Grave is now available to buy and download. The band will play their only Scottish date at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on October 23.
For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Squeeze-tickets/