Chris Difford @ Half Moon 15th January 2012

“Thanks for coming out on a Sunday night, it’s really kind of you. I just want to say yesterday morning I woke up and half my voice had left my body” Chris said before revealing he had been taken tablets and was beginning to trip a little bit. “This is a screen I got in Clapham about 4 months ago, it was a bit difficult getting it off the wall” Difford joked referring to the big screen which played videos to accompany each song performed on this night. The evening was a mixture of talk and songs. I found it to be rather interesting as he went through the story of his career starting from when he was at school and ending with Squeeze reuniting. “It’s a song about my early life” he said before launching into Lamas Fayre. The video that was accompanying the song fitted to it perfectly. Difford said that he sang this song to test out his voice. Yes the vocals were a little husky but it didn’t matter to me as I was witnessing an incredible singer right up close. After plenty of applause it was then onto Squeeze material. Difford then went onto say he put up a 50p advert advertising this band in a sweet shop window. Only one person replied and this being Glenn Tilbrook. Chris then kept him hanging on for a month before saying he had the job. After plenty of chat it was then onto the début Squeeze song this being Take Me, I’m Yours. It was nice to hear this song played on an acoustic guitar.  “We looked like 5 mini cab drivers, who’d just turn up for work” Chris then said to the intimate audience referring to the last photo shoot the new incarnation of Squeeze did. He then mentioned that people who brushed past them made it big such a Neil Tennant, The Jam, Dire Straits, The Police, The Ramones, Blondie and Billie Idol.

“I don’t know how the hell I’m going to sing it” and this song was Up The Junction. Every one sang along to this fantastic song. “Thanks for singing along, It really helps” Chris then said before going to tell more of the Squeeze story. He then revealed that he wanted to tour the whole East Side Story album in its entirety. A song that Difford loved was next on the night and this being In Quintessence. I found this song to be rather upbeat and it was sung perfectly. Black Coffee In Bed which was taken from the Sweets From A Stranger CD was next on the night. It is shocking that this epic song only reached #51 in the UK singles chart when it was released in 1982. “Please help me with this one” Chris said before playing this song. It was then onto the part detailing when Squeeze played their last gig in Jamaica. Chris mentioned that they went up in the lift of the hotel they were staying in. Got off at different levels and no one said goodbye. The Chris Difford story then fast forward 10 years when he managed Marti Pellow and Brian Ferry. It was then onto his solo material and first up was Cowboys Are My Weakness. This song had a slower tempo compared to others sung on the night. It was then onto Fat As A Fiddle from The Last Temptation Of Chris. Boo Hewerdine inspired this song “Not coz he’s fat or anything”. The final Chris solo song was Passion Killer which was taken from Cashmere If You Can. I actually parts of this song infectious despite its actual lyrics. “That’s the solo records out of the way it’s back to the hits now” Difford said before revealing that Squeeze will be recording new songs and a tour is booked for the end of 2012. Is That Love? followed on and it proved to be a huge sing along. Straight after it was onto Tempted and there was lots of audience participation. I love the chorus of this song. “Here’s another one to sing along with” Chris said before getting stuck into Pulling Mussels (From The Shell). As soon as the recognisable chorus kicked in everyone sang along. It was then onto Argybargy track If I Didn’t Love You which was a surprise inclusion as this song wasn’t released as a single. “I like to thank everybody for coming tonight, its been very rewarding” Difford said before ending with Cool For Cats. Now this song takes me back I remember it was used in a advert for milk. Still this song was sung to perfection and was a real audience pleaser.

SET LIST

Lamas Fayre
Take Me, I’m Yours
Up The Junction
In Quintessence
Black Coffee In Bed
Cowboys Are My Weakness
Fat As A Fiddle
Passion Killer
Is That Love?
Tempted
Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
If I Didn’t Love You
Cool For Cats

OVERALL: Despite the problems with his voice I really enjoyed the night. I was rather pleased that the majority of the set was Squeeze material as I am not fully familiar with all of Chris’s solo work. You wouldn’t expect a headline slot to only consist of just 13 songs. Difford was on for 70 minutes but what fascinated me the most was the story he told. It was nice to hear him recount his career from when he wanted to be in a band to the present day. Supporting was Norman Lovett who performed a 30 minute stand up slot which gained a lot of laughs.

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