Friday, 14 May 2010

Pulling mussels from a shell

Having been in my new house for 4 months now, I felt it was time to reorganise the record collection, not autobiographically I might add. Amongst the Johnny Cash and Connie Francis oddities, were nestled almost the entire Squeeze discography, most of which I'd forgotten I had.

For the past few weeks I've been rediscovering them one by one and reminding myself why Tilbrook and Difford were lauded over by the music press. I'm not convinced by the Lennon/McCartney comparisons, but maybe that's because I don't like much of the Beatles... I digress

Squeeze were my first ever live gig. It was a Tuesday night, the Southend Cliffs Pavilion was the most impressive venue I'd ever seen and I was 11. I sang every word to every song. It formed the benchmark for all gigs to come: do I love the band? Do I know every word? Can I sleep in the car on the way home? If the answers to all three are yes, then I know it's been a blinder.

From early Jools-included incarnations, to later albums with Mike Rutherford, the stories the songs tell have always been at the heart of what the band have been about. Troubadours, social commentators, write-about-what-you-know advocates, whatever. From pulling women you know are going to nick your wallet and doing it anyway; to fatherhood and crumbling relationships; to celebrating your freedom; the people are vivid, the feelings are real and the tunes stick in your head. I'm not sure I've looked for anything else in a band.

And with that note, I return to a world where the past has been bottled and labelled with love.

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