Squeeze – Live At Hammersmith Odeon 1985 – Past Daily Backstage Weekend
Hard to imagine, this concert took place 30 years ago this week. But Squeeze were one of those bands, whose talents owed no small debt to the timeless writing abilities of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook. Because of that, Squeeze haven’t aged at all – and this concert sounds as fresh as if it were recorded earlier this month, or at one of the dizzying number of festivals this year.
But Squeeze were one of those bands at the forefront of defining the transition from Punk of the late 70s to New Wave of the early 80s. In that context, they are quintessentially 80s – but the sentiment, the context of the songs; their words and emotional content go beyond that. When you write songs with the human condition element at their core, you don’t write for a specific period of time, you write for all time – because the human condition never changes. That’s why a lot of music from past decades has stood out, and is reshaped and reworked throughout the years, because the essential core of the song remains current. There’s the nostalgia aspect – people who grew up hearing a certain song, or group of songs, carry memories associated with those songs for most of their lives. But people who have no preconceived notion of a song, or have no nostalgia attached to it hear it on different terms, and through different ears. That’s why music appeals on countless levels – and that’s why its essential to us as people you just can’t exist without music. And that probably explains why the current state of affairs with the business side of Music is so frustrating right now. But that’s another whole story, and you just want to hear the tunes.
This concert, recorded by the BBC for their In Concert series on Radio 1, comes at a time when the band had just released their sixth group album, Cosi Fan Tutti-Frutti and had reformed a few months earlier, after initially breaking up in 1982. With a few personnel changes and an evolving sound, Squeeze were still very high on their game when this concert was recorded.
As a reminder, or an introduction to one of the truly great bands who recorded this concert 30 years ago, here is that appearance at Hammersmith Odeon, recorded on October 14, 1985.
Play loud. I tweaked it a bit.
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