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Borders Bookshop Song By Song

18 November 2004, Borders Bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London

Glenn and Chris

Chris

Glenn

Chris

Jim Drury, Chris and Glenn

Signed display board

Signed display board

A review from Mike O’Mahoney - reproduced with permission

Whoever said it would be heaving was right, 300 people crammed in slightly surreal fashion into the Religion & Psychology section upstairs in Borders. Literally hundreds of copies of the book all over the place and most people clutching at least one copy for the signing afterwards.

It would be an exaggeration to say the fab two bounced on stage- for a start there was no stage so you had to be about six foot six to see anything unless you were at the front. But they were on time and seemed happy to be there, lots of smiley faces. Book co-author Jim Drury introduced them and thanked them for the collaboration. Well we’d better play something said Chris, maybe something from our new album (Glenn joke). That said they launched into Take Me I’m Yours and it seemed as fresh as ever and the smile intensity notched up. I don’t recall the exact set list but for sure they played; Pulling mussels; Labelled with love; Up the Junction; Cool for Cats. This last song provoked a particularly rapturous reception, the crowd delighted to acknowledge the return of the Squeeze prodigal.

The set was musically excellent, particularly Glenn’s guitar playing but all too brief, around 30 minutes and they moved into a fairly chaotic Q&A. Some highlights:
Question one – will you play another 6 songs (retort from Chris, what sort of question is that)
Are you back together – Chris ‘ yes as you can see’, but for one night only said Glenn.
Do you feel the temptation to tour sometimes – Glenn was prepared to admit to sometimes but Chris didn’t seem to keen.
Favourite Squeeze Song – both nominated some fantastic place and raved about it. Glenn talked about their relationship now and a key difference being that they are more likely to say what they think even if it involves criticism, in Glenn’s words ‘the boil needs to be lanced and then you move on’. As Glenn said their relationship in the past was based on ‘festering sores’ and Chris came up with a more graphical pinpointing of where on the body these sores were located.

On song writing, as we all know, Chris said he wrote the lyrics first and Glenn came up with the tune. Glenn was asked to name his 3 favourite guitarists Jimi Hendrix, Joe Pass (I checked this with Glenn when he signed my book, apparently an old jazz guitarist who played with among others Ella Fitzgerald – quite superb according to Glenn) and Nils Lofgren (nice one!). Chris’s 3 favourite lyric writers – Johnny Mercer (wrote for Sinatra et al), Elvis Costello (past Squeeze producer/collaborator) and Chinn & Chapman (penned those 70’s Sweet classics such as Wigwam Bam)
Biggest venue played - Giants stadium NY, smallest I didn’t catch, somewhere in Scotland?

Chris was asked if had any movie plans a la ‘One For The Road’. No plans as such but he liked the idea of making a road movie featuring 21 beautiful women attending his gigs which would all take place in phone boxes.

Asked for their happiest Squeeze moments, Glenn nominated signing their first record deal and Chris said ‘getting rid of Miles Copeland (Manager they had big falling out with) which Glenn seemed to agree with.

That pretty much rounded it off, the crowd begged for one more song, specifically Some Fantastic Place but Chris claimed to have forgotten how to play it, so they finished (finger on the pulse as ever according to Glenn) with a wonderful Goodbye Girl.

The signing took ages everybody wanting to chat and take photos but they stayed smiling till the end. Let’s hope they have rediscovered the taste for working together and who knows, the occasional reunion.

Cheers

Mike

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