Wednesday 24th October 2018
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Have guitar, will travel. That’s been Glenn Tilbrook’s unwavering mantra in a musical career stretching back to the 1970s, and which shows no signs of dimming as he sets out on the road again for a string of solo shows throughout March and Autumn 2018.
Fresh from releasing The Knowledge with Squeeze to critical acclaim back in November, it’s the mixture of electric and acoustic solo gigs that are the focus of his attention, relishing the opportunity to get up close and personal with his legion of fans. Performing has always been his first love, and doing so away from the dynamic of his famous, much cherished – nay, adored – group keeps him fresh and engaged.
“For me, I think I would get bored if I was just doing Squeeze all the time,” he says. “Going out on my own is a chance to look around and experiment more, and then bring some of that experimentation back to the band. I’d like to think I’ve always done that; my last solo album (2014’s Happy Ending) infused so much of what Squeeze did subsequently. One of the dangers of being in a band is becoming too comfortable with what you are and sticking to it. I absolutely love and respect where Squeeze have been, but we can’t stay there. It just wouldn’t work. That’s why it was important for us to incorporate as many new songs into the Squeeze live set as we could. People who like Squeeze love that about us and on our last tour songs like ‘A&E’ and ‘Rough Ride’ (from 2017’s The Knowledge) were carrying themselves. You can’t force it down their throats; they’ll let you know if you’re not winning.”
“For The Knowledge, we didn’t have the springboard of the TV series, so it was great to have the freedom to write about different subjects, things that Squeeze had never written about before. I’ve spent all of my creative time in the last four years being focused on the band & we have managed to reassert ourselves in the marketplace; Squeeze are in a really strong position now, stronger than we’ve ever been in terms of ticket sales.”
It’s that strength which gives Glenn the confidence to embark upon extra-curricular projects away from the band, hence the upcoming solo tour.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done solo gigs, and it will be great to have a lot of material to choose from, and to get a reaction. If the audience are with me for the ride it can be a lot of fun. They’ll hear some new stuff, some things they’ve loved from times gone by, a bit of everything. As long as I can mix it up and keep things fresh for myself it should be fresh for everyone else too.”