Squeeze Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY Wednesday October 19th, 2016
The band Squeeze was deeply woven into the tapestry of my teen years. As a hardcore punk rock girl it was one of my go to bands for solace.When I got tired of fighting and screaming the heavy Brit toned vocals of Glenn Tilbrook were soothing if not hopeful. The dark good looks of Chris Difford provided the eye candy to keep me focused.
I consider myself a true fan, not a greatest hit or ‘Argybargy’ fan but an all-around ‘in it for the long haul’ fan. I for one, loved their latest album ‘From the Cradle to the Grave’ (and the corresponding BBC sitcom on the life of Danny Boyle) Despite this fandom I have never seen the band live. I just missed them repeatedly. As a ‘standard’ in my band repertoire it’s easy to forget how much you love Squeeze.
Funny I mustn’t be the only one since their merch booth actually has shirts saying just that. Could it be that Squeeze has that steady eddy non-descript sound?
I don’t think so. I do think in a world infiltrated by ‘new’ the dependable are just expected to perform.Be exactly what I expect, throw no punches, no deviation… Wait, that is the pure definition of Steady Eddy. Thus that what Squeeze is. Steady
The Port Chester NY, Capitol Theater is one of my favorite places. Having seen Morrissey there years ago in my ‘perfect concert of all time’ I will always love this venue. Dark and seedy its perfection for rock and roll. Dirty dark crushed velvet pretty much sums it up. I had only been to General Admission shows there, so the assigned seating set up was intriguing. Not the most comfortable arrangement but it did the job and sight lines, as always, were perfection.
This the closing night of Squeezes 2016 US tour brings us to their second stop at this fabulous venue.Second sold out show to boot.
What’s the biggest fear in these nostalgia acts? Shattered illusions. I don’t want to see crusty old men pretending to be 20. Shattered voice boxes, leathered looks… no thanks. Keep the dream alive. Luckily these fears were dashed with the opening strikes of “Hourglass” Yes they’ve aged with Glenn Tillbrook at 59 and the still cute as ever Chris Difford ringing the 61 year mark but the age has not in any way removed the charisma and more importantly the sound. The highs were high the lows not quite as low but holding… steady. There’s that word again.
New Squeezer, bassist Lucy Shaw terrified me. What is a woman doing in the band? Well she’s kicking ass and happily keeping beat with drummer Simon Hanson and keyboardist Stephen Large. I have to interject that she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. That her stage presence was so strong so incredibly cool that for a moment I questioned my ‘keep the girls out of rock and roll’ mentality- she’s fabulous, you go girl (and nice shoes) Good for her to mix it up and bring the spotlight off the dynamic duo most associated with Squeeze. They didn’t disappoint, they did their job
They did their job but with a sincere enthusiasm, They had fun, they took us with them. Their big screen showing images relating to their tunes but also peppered with their old footage of the fresh faced boys they once were. From the cradle to the grave indeed! Thats the perfect way to get in the nostalgia without looking pathetically melancholy.
Complaints? None. I suppose most of the audience would have liked a whole lot less ‘new stuff’, I for one did not. The pairing of new songs like “15” with “Electric Trains” reinforced my impression that Squeeze are a thinking persons pop band. Dare I call this “The Concert of the Year”? Could the smarmy Capitol theater once again be the venue that claims the title? It’s very possible.. but the year isnt out yet.