Glenn Tilbrook – Preston 53 Degrees
It says something about Glenn Tilbrook’s persuasiveness that he had us all singing along to a music hall ditty we’d never heard before he set foot on stage.
“I’ll buy you an ice cream as big as your head” he told us in a tribute to the Grandad who first sang that song to him. And we all joined in.
While we were already sold on his Squeeze material, there was plenty more to admire, with less-celebrated numbers like The Day I Get Home and The Truth from his old band’s 1991 LP Play.
It’s the mark of a good song when you can appreciate it with just a voice and acoustic guitar.
His charming New York support, Leslie Mendelson, shared a few intimate moments, with only her keyboard for company, earning a warm reception.
Glenn was suffering with the back end of a winter cold, but still won us all over on this mellow Sunday.
He told us a few tales, including one about Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, the subject of Dennis, while airing a few other songs from new LP, Happy Ending.
Judging by new songs like Ray, he’s on to a winner, and we also got a few cuts from past solo LPs too, mostly 2009’s Pandemonium Ensues, recorded with The Fluffers, 2004’s Transatlantic Ping Pong and a couple of songs from his album with The Co-Operative, his project with Nine Below Zero.
But then there was Take Me I’m Yours and Labelled with Love - with a call to applaud songwriting partner Chris Difford - Up the Junction, Goodbye Girl, and even Slap and Tickle, as he switched from acoustic to electric guitar.
We also got Black Coffee in Bed and Is That Love? before he played us out with a rather wistful but no less powerful Tempted.
He encored with Another Nail in my Heart and Pulling Mussels (From the Shell). Oh, and Ice Cream of course. They don’t write them like that anymore.
by Malcolm Wyatt