Squeeze Aims To Celebrate Catalog On Reunion Tour

When the newly reunited Squeeze hits the States this summer for their first U.S. shows in more than seven years, fans will be treated to a tour unlike any they've witnessed before.

When the newly reunited Squeeze hits the States this summer for their first U.S. shows in more than seven years, fans will be treated to a tour unlike any they've witnessed before.

"It's gonna be quite a lot more visual -- we're paying a lot of attention to the staging at the show," says principal member Glenn Tilbrook. "I want it to be a proper musical appreciation of what we've done. I don't want it to be some sort of cheap run-through that could have been in a cabaret room. I want it to be a proper, living, breathing band. And that's what I'm sure it will be."

But Tilbrook warns that Squeeze devotees shouldn't get their hopes up for anything beyond this batch of summer dates. "I still have no desire to go back and be involved in another version of Squeeze, because I think that's just had its life. I'm very, very proud of it. [Principal member] Chris [Difford] and I get on, and the collaboration between us, what we produced, I'm very proud of."

Having moved past a rocky patch in their relationship that followed the band's split in 1999, Tilbrook and Difford have formed a new friendship. Last year in Brighton, England, Difford even joined Tilbrook at a solo gig, where they performed "Slap and Tickle" and "Take Me, I'm Yours," backed by Tilbrook's band, the Fluffers.

Two things helped set the reunion in motion. The former bandmates got together recently to do interviews for a new Squeeze best-of collection issued in the U.K. (the 20-track "Essential Squeeze," available as an import only). And both were candid in Jim Drury's book "Squeeze: Song by Song," released in 2004. "I think we were both honest in it," says Tilbrook. "I think it led to us both understanding each other a lot more."

"We started talking about it, and it's not like there are any issues between me and Chris, and I think it's also not like we want to take the band any further," he adds. "This tour is very much a look back at what we've done and we're very proud of that."

The reunion kicks off July 14 at Stoke Park in Guildford, U.K., and hits the U.S. July 30 in Londonderry, N.H., before wrapping Aug. 14 in Saratoga, Calif. The tour will continue throughout November and December in the U.K. Tilbrook and Difford will backed by the Fluffers.

Despite its various incarnations having featured such notable players as keyboardist/vocalist Paul Carrack and pianist Jools Holland, Tilbrook says the only person he and Difford reached out to for this tour was drummer Gilson Larvis, who was unavailable.

"Gilson was a very, very important part of the Squeeze sound," says Tilbrook, "And he really helped mold the band and was pretty instrumental in pushing us forward in the early days. But he has solid work with Jools now, and this happens to be during all the time that were touring, so he couldn't do it."

Tilbrook says he's hoping the U.S. tour dates will spark the band's American label, Universal, to reissue its catalog, as is happening throughout the world. "Hopefully, they'll see the wisdom in getting our products out there," he says. "It's something we're extremely proud of, and something that we care about. And if they don't want to release it, I'd love for them to release them to us so we can release it."