I like Squeeze. If you’re like most of the people I mentioned this to recently, you have no idea what I mean by that. That makes me sad.
When I mentioned seeing Squeeze in concert, people didn’t know who they were. This blew my mind. You don’t know “Tempted?” Did you not watch MTV in the 80s?
Confession: I used to change the lyrics of “Tempted” to reflect how anxious I was for romance in my pitiful adolescence — “alarmed by the seduction, I wish that it would
But if all you know is “Tempted,” then you are missing out on Squeeze. As wonderful as Paul Carrack’s voice is, his tenure in Squeeze was short-lived and he wasn’t the lead singer.
I bought Singles 45’s and Under on cassette and played it until the tape almost snapped. Squeeze was never my favorite band. I didn’t love them and obsess over them like I did the Police, or the Beatles, or Genesis. But I liked every song on that tape.
I never would have been able to articulate why back then. So I was grateful for the opportunity to get to see them live for the first time Thursday night and figure it out.
Bands trying to recapture their previous glory can be depressing. One of the shirts for sale said “Squeeze est. 1973.” I was born in 1973…gulp (that makes them old, not me…right?). But I need not have worried about the quality or energy of their performance.
Within seconds of their taking the stage, I felt I’d been reunited with an old friend. And I realized why I like Squeeze. Their music is catchy and fun to sing, but the lyrics are also clever. I’ve realized I’m a lyrics girl. If I can’t make out the words, or the words are tired and trite, I don’t care how great the music or talented the singer. Squeeze spits out lyrics fast and furious that are so witty, combined with music so infectious, I’m putty in their hands. Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford might have looked older, but the songs sounded exactly right.
I had hoped there would be more videos of the show on YouTube by now, but no such luck, so here are a couple of classic videos.
My favorite song is “Slap and Tickle,” a song about young love/lust with lyrics that ring so true I feel like they read my diary (“He saw her in the morning, out with his sister Pauline. She felt all shy and soppy, he acted cool and cocky.”). Add the frantic music and I feel like I should check my answering machine to see if the boy I like called. They played it during the encore and it was perfect (starts at ~1:10 below).
“Annie Get Your Gun” encapsulates my rare moments of high-energy euphoria. I used to call it “getting giddy” in high school and college. Glenn Tilbrook is so adorable in this video I want to slap him.
Here is a video from the actual show. This was the last song, “Black Coffee in Bed.” This captures their charm, joking about the extreme heat (~6:00), and pretending to smash their instruments (~10:30).
This post is a response to this week’s writing prompt at The Lightning and the Lightning-Bug to write about something you like starting with the words “I like” (go figure!).