Live – Squeeze at The Brighton Centre

Squeeze at The Brighton Centre, 26th November 2022

For a band who first charted back in 1978, Squeeze undoubtedly still have a lot to offer, and it’s not just nostalgia. Saturday night was cold and wet, but inside The Brighton Centre a warm atmosphere and a buzz of anticipation for the performance, that never abated throughout the evening.

When you have Dr John Cooper Clarke as your warm-up act you know it’s going to be a good night. With wit and charm as abrasive as ever, the good doctor was perhaps a bit off brand for some of the crowd but, undeterred by any such notion, he delivered his beautifully cynical observations on the world and quickly gained traction in winning everyone over. Always a pleasure.

And so to Squeeze, a band still more than cool for cats whose lyrical content is matched only by their obvious love of the music it sits alongside. Taking no prisoners on the opening trio of tracks, the crowd were treated to Take Me I’m Yours, Hourglass and jewel in the crown Up the Junction to kick things off. The perfectly matched songwriting team of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook are responsible for a long string of hits over the years, and it was great to hear their new material make itself a strong mark in the setlist. With all proceeds from new EP and single Food for Thought, being donated to independent food banks, there was also an invitation for those attending to bring non-perishable items to be passed on to local food banks, and the response was huge. It warms my heart and makes me angry in equal measures that this is necessary but hats off to the band for doing this on their tour dates and taking time to talk about the Trussell Trust mid-set.

Where you find several incarnations of a band, it can often be the case that the original members will hang on the spotlight and effectively find themselves a backing band to play live with. This is far from the case with Squeeze as there is some fierce talent amongst the entirety of the band members, not to mention moves that would leave Gene Kelly pondering his place on the dancefloor from Stephen Large on keys. It was refreshing to see the authenticity of performance and, whilst you wouldn’t have to be a Squeeze fan to have enjoyed the night, the room was full of people who most definitely were.

The evening closed with an encore of Slap and Tickle and Black Coffee in Bed, and we headed out to battle the weather again with umbrellas unable to meet their need, but a bunch of songs stuck in our heads that most definitely could.

Review and photos by Siobhan and Callum

28th November 2022