Squeeze know their stuff when it comes to penning catchy hits – think Cool for Cats and Up the Junction. They’ll be bringing their sound to the shores of South Tyneside next month as part of South Shields’ Great North Run Celebrations. KATY WHEELER spoke to founding band member Chris Difford ahead of their appearance.
MORE than 30 years after launching their first assault on the music industry, Squeeze are still going strong.
It’s a career that’s seen them span the decades and conquer the charts with hits such as Cool for Cats, Up the Junction, Tempted, Labelled With Love and Black Coffee In Bed.
A selection of which they’ll be performing for the crowds at Gypsies Green Stadium, South Shields, on September 16 to herald the start of the Great North Run.
This fusion of fun running and pop follows on from last year’s hugely successful Jethro Tull gig which kicked off 2010’s run in style.
Speaking about their forthcoming set, Chris Difford, explains: “People can expect one of our normal, hit-laden sets.
“It’s fantastic up there in the North East, the people are lovely and are always up for a singalong. Last time I was in that part of the world was in Newcastle, everyone up there always seems really appreciative of what we do.”
He added: “Outdoor festivals are great when the weather’s right.”
With his partner, collaborator, friend and Squeeze co-founder Glenn Tilbrook, Chris has written some of the most enduring and best-loved songs of our time.
Up The Junction, Cool For Cats and Labelled With Love, to name but a few, feature daily on radio stations across the world. And Squeeze enjoy a new generation of fans, with celebrity admirers such as Lily Allen and Mark Ronson and The Feeling.
As well as continuing to tour with Squeeze, Difford has released three solo albums and has co-written with a host of musicians.
Most recently he’s worked with Olly Murs on his latest album.
He said: “It’s been great working with Olly. He’s quite a character. I really enjoy song writing, but I love performing more than anything else. I don’t get nervous on stage any more, I just embrace it and enjoy it.”
Formed in 1973 in South London by Difford and Tilbrook – with a newly reformed band launched in 2007 – Squeeze remain a British favourite but Chris can’t choose between his songs.
He said: “I’m so proud of all my songs, I don’t have any favourites really. Cool for Cats and the other usual suspects always get a good reaction.”
Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for culture and wellbeing from South Tyneside Council, is looking forward to the concert.
She said: “It’s fantastic that we are able to be bringing another massive name from the world of music to South Shields. Squeeze are such a brilliant band and this concert is bound to attract even more visitors to our borough and our fabulous seafront for the Great North Run weekend.”
Customs House executive director Ray Spencer added: “Chris Difford’s lyrics and Glen Tilbrook’s music is recognised as making a lasting and major contribution to popular music – we are delighted to welcome them to South Shields.
“A performance made possible by working in partnership with South Tyneside Council, we know it will be even bigger and better than last year’s concert so get along to share in a bit of history as these musical legends bring their unique talents to Gypsies Green Stadium.”