Chris Difford, formerly of Squeeze, has written songs with the best. In addition to his longtime writing partner, Glenn Tilbrook, Difford has worked with legends Elvis Costello and Elton John. Now, out on his own with several releases to his credit, Difford made his first U.S. tour in ten years, culminating at Shank Hall in Milwaukee.
Though the show could have been better attended, it was obvious that the people there hadn’t just wandered in. They were diehard Squeeze fans who knew the words to the songs and recalled better than Difford himself the last time he’d played in that part of the world. One man proudly sported a Babylon and On t-shirt, vintage 1987.
The band consisted of Chris Difford on lead vocals and guitar, Dorie Jackson on supporting vocals, and Melvin Duffy on backing vocals and pedal steel guitar, and had a surprisingly big sound for an acoustic group. The trio played a host of songs from Difford’s first release, I Didn’t Get Where I Am, as well as a satisfying number of reinvented Squeeze hits. Difford debuted a new song, "Fat as a Fiddle", about a man and his struggle with over-eating, which was a riveting reminder of why his songs continue to capture the imagination–their raw honesty in dealing with sensitive subjects in a very real way.
The big announcement was that Squeeze’s back catalog is due to be released this fall so those long out-of-print gems will soon be available on CD. Difford and Tilbrook will also reunite for a series of shows in the U.K. to kick off the release.
Difford cleverly sidestepped the encore ritual by telling the room that the next song would be the encore. Two songs later, he said "Black Coffee in Bed" was the second encore. A splendid time was had by all patrons, who were treated to a world-class slice of entertainment in a neighborhood Milwaukee bar.