O2 Academy, Leeds
WATCHING Squeeze is like having an extremely gifted covers band play your favourite songs for you.
Of course, most of the recognisable hits are in fact the band’s own songs, taken from a back catalogue of 35 years that most pop groups would die for. On seeing Squeeze at the same venue two years ago, the verdict then was good gig, too many guitar solos. This time around, lead singer and guitarist Glenn Tilbrook reined in his natural, individualistic tendencies, opting instead – along with songwriting partner of 30-plus years Chris Difford – for a more simple approach. The100-minute set included a 20-minute ‘unplugged segment’ which saw them lined up at the front of the stage to start with their first single Take Me I’m Yours. The band’s obvious enjoyment easily transmitted to a loyal, appreciative crowd. New material – due out on an album next year – got the respect it deserved but, not surprisingly, the greatest cheers came for the string of hits such as Tempted, Pulling Mussels (from a Shell) and an acoustic version of Goodbye Girl, a single which didn’t even crack the top 60 in 1979, but is a song clearly loved by most of the crowd, who belted out every single word.