Fuck nostalgia! For me, it’s always about the here and now – the singer and the song. Sure, you could describe singer-songwriter Glenn Tilbrook in those terms but that barely does any justice to the talent and wit that this man possesses. As the frontman of 80s ‘new wave’ band Squeeze, Tilbrook certainly had his time in the sun but the passing of thirty years have not diminished the artist’s ability to connect with an audience in a manner that escapes many younger musicians.
In two intimate sets at Hero’s Bar, Tilbrook – armed with only a guitar – held a packed room (about 100 pax) arrested with songs that may have come from the distant past but were made fresh and relevant by his verve and technical ability. And that voice! Still as strong as it ever was. The highlights were the obvious one – those awesome Squeeze hits – “Take Me, I’m Yours”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Black Coffee in Bed”, “Up the Junction”, “Another Nail in My Heart”, “Someone Else’s Bell” etc
I am a big fan of Squeeze’s early output – in particular the Argy Bargy, East Side Story and Sweets From A Stranger albums – but never realized how much the songs resonated until I was in tears at the end of “Labelled With Love”. Was it nostalgia? Was the inherent beauty of the songwriting? Was it the intimate settings of the performance? Perhaps a bit of all these elements brought the timeless material (“Tempted”, “Pulling Mussels from the Shell” and “Goodbye Girl”) home. In between, Tilbrook played choice covers (to keep the audience in the right mood) which included “Voodoo Chile”, “Tired of Waiting for You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”.
All told, a splendid time was had by all. A big thank you to Victoria Barker/Hero’s Bar for making this all possible!
Photo credits: Ryan Peters and Spectrum Photography.