Long before you finish your first listen to the new Squeeze album ‘Cradle To The Grave,’ you realise that no one has ever come close to taking their place. For the admirers beyond number who’ve been willing their return, the release date of the band’s first record of new songs in 17 years should be a national holiday.
‘Cradle To The Grave’ is the sound of Squeeze going backwards to go forwards. It marks the complete and, frankly, triumphant reintegration of the masterful songwriting axis of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, in a beautifully-observed series of fond vignettes about childhood, growing up and the absurdities of the ride through life we’re all on.
Squeeze’s 14th studio album was produced with old comrade Laurie Latham, in a refreshed band line-up that now features Stephen Large on keyboards, Simon Hanson on drums and Lucy Shaw on bass, all three of them from Tilbrook’s own band on his solo albums and tours, the Fluffers. Early Squeeze bassist John Bentley also played on the first half of the recordings.
“We’re in the lucky position of selling more tickets now than we ever have,” says Difford. “We’ve got to push ourselves to be the best, and if you’re not doing that, you’ve got no business doing it.
“We can really deliver a great show, it’s properly played, it’s got full enthusiasm, it’s the whole thing. It’s not cynical, it’s just like, you’ve got all this stuff behind you, plus the present. Why not just revel in it, because it’s a great place to be.”