Glenn & Chris – 31 July 2011 – live at Greenwich Summer Sessions

Glenn & Chris – 31 July 2011 – live at Greenwich Summer Sessions

Brilliant photos from Nicky Armstrong – thanks Nicky!

Songs In The Key of London 2011

Review: This Is London

The prospect of an ill-wind or unseasonable monsoon means outdoor concerts are a gamble.

After two years though, the odds are beginning to stack up in favour of the Greenwich Summer Sessions, already looking like the summer staple the near-gig-desert that is south London needs.

The sumptuous grounds of Elizabeth I’s presumed birthplace made for an idyllic setting.

The sightlines were fine and while those who frequented Somerset House’s Summer Series will attest that sound is not always pristine under the stars, it was here.

You certainly wouldn’t have performed major surgery on the lavatory floors, but there were enough of them. For last night’s climax of the 2011 season, the weather held and there was a quirkiness to Songs In The Key Of London, curated by the avuncular uncle that is Deptford and Squeeze’s Chris Difford.

The ramshackle gist was simple: a cornucopia of singers from feisty folkie Chris Wood (“you haven’t got a clue who I am, have you?”) to Ali Campbell matched with some songs about London (or not, as the case often was). There was even Nerina Pallot telling us she only takes off her dress for her husband, “and then only when he’s taken the bins out”.

Those who have long-wondered what Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street might sound like if reggaefied need wonder no more after ex-UB40 singer Campbell’s version. Some may sneer, but it was a summery delight. Meanwhile, Clare Teal may have offered the evening’s nadir with a version of James Brown’s I Feel Good which evoked only bad feelings, but she brought joyful swing to both The Clash’s apocalyptic London Calling and Lily Allen’s Smile, before an ensemble (minus Campbell) Waterloo Sunset finale. The Greenwich Summer Sessions return next year: same place, slightly different, Olympics-accommodating time. This one will grow and grow

Review: Greenwich Summer Sessions – Nick Rutherford – Monday, August 1, 2011 – The Docklands

A promising and eclectic line-up, including Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy, The Noisettes, Status Quo and The Pogues, was booked to perform at the week-long mini-festival in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College months ago.

Then, on July 23, singer Amy Winehouse died, meaning Wednesday’s headliner, her musical collaborator Mark Ronson, threw out his set list and instead gave an impromptu tribute to his friend.

He was in a sombre mood, dressed in black, as he opened his set with an acoustic duet of Valerie with Dave McCabe, who wrote the song.

But as the evening went on his mood seemed to lift and he was happy to remember his friend, finishing a mid-gig DJ set with arguably Winehouse’s best-known song and anthem, Rehab. “I just wanted to hear that,” he said. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, singing along, we wanted to hear it too.

He spoke of attending Winehouse’s funeral the day before and how the rabbi said “a person’s life should be measured by their deeds and not by their years”.

“That was the best thing I heard,” he said. “She made brilliant music – more than I will will make in my entire life. The genius of that woman and what we shared is pretty … special.”

His own material was “pretty special” too with the crowd going wild for Oh My God and Stop Me with various members of his band The Business International on singing duty.

But it was the Winehouse moments that really stood out. Charlie Walker of The Rumble Strips joined the band to sing his version of Back To Black – which Ronson admitted Winehouse preferred to her own.

As a finale Ronson invited two of her backing singers, her bass player and drummer on stage to play Valerie again, this time with the audience singing the lead vocals.

“Thank you for turning what could have been a … morbid Wednesday into a wonderful evening for us,” he said.

It was pretty wonderful for us too.

South London’s answer to Simon and Garfunkel, Turin Brakes opened proceedings on Friday, supporting main act Squeeze. The indie-folk-rock band have four albums out now, including the most recent Outbursts, but they wisely chose to concentrate on the first two, The Optimist and Ether Song, from their most commercial period, taking us on an aural trip back to the early noughties.

Local heroes Squeeze kept us entertained with their poppy rock and pithy lyrics with tracks including Slap and Tickle and Black Coffee In Bed but saved some of their best-loved tunes until the end including the joyous Cool For Cats.

Theirs was a mainly older crowd but we did spot a teenager in the audience singing along to songs that came out years before he was born.

“I’m here with my Dad,” he explained. “He introduced Squeeze to me and now they are my favourite band.”

Squeeze’s Chris Difford was back at the Old Royal Naval College last night to close the festival with Songs In The Key Of London.

This was a real “musos gig” with musicians – some famous, some not so well known – coming together to perform songs about the capital.

Highlights included Chris Wood’s Hollow Point, about Jean Charles de Menezes who was shot by police marksmen as a suspected terrorist in 2005, Clare Teal’s take on Lily Allen’s LDN and Pee Wee Ellis’s jazz version of London’s Burning.

UB40’s Ali Campbell dedicated Kingston Town to Amy Winehouse and the finale saw around 20 musicians on the stage to perform The Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset.

Promoter Peter Conway confirmed plans are already underway for a third series of Summer Sessions next year.

News News News

Things may have seemed quite quiet in the Squeeze camp recently but it’s the calm before the storm. There’s so much happening it’s hard to fit it all in one post, but I’ll have a go.

Firstly this week there’s the Greenwich Summer Sessions with the following:

Glenn Tilbrook is playing with Nine Below Zero in their support spot to Status Quo in Greenwich on Thursday 28th July 2011.
Squeeze are playing on Friday 29th July 2011 supported by Turin Breaks
Glenn Tilbrook will be DJing on the Vintage Love Boat, part of Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage Festival 2011: The Royalty Afternoon Teaser (2.45-4.45pm) Saturday 30th July 2011
Chris Difford is curating Songs in the Key of London on Sunday 31st July with a guest appearance from…. yes, you guessed, Glenn Tilbrook.

Glenn Tilbrook and Nine Below Zero will be releasing a new album shortly (artwork available soon). It’s an 11 track album featuring the band and Glenn with three classic cover versions, three instrumentals and five original compositions by the boys. They’re all really excited about the project. Anything they do in the future will be under the name ‘The Cooperative’.

Expect to see the next of Glenn’s demo CDs later in the year. It’s going to be a good one.

Also coming soon is the release date of If I, If I, If I… The Songs of Squeeze Revisited.

50-track, 4-CD album covering the first four Squeeze records – “Squeeze,” “Cool For Cats,” “Argybargy,” and “East Side Story” – in their entirety and in their original track sequence. Features many of your favorite artists from previous Burning Sky Records releases, as well as some great new discoveries. To be released July 26, 2011, this will be Burning Sky Record’s most ambitious album yet!

Look out for a comprehensive review of this beautiful package and a competition to win a copy in the next few days. Pre-order here!

Plus there are more Glenn Tilbrook Solo dates:

1 November 2011 – Playhouse Whitstable
15 November 2011 – Tokyo Club, Lincoln
20 November 2011 – The Ironworks, Inverness
21 November 2011 – The Doghouse, Dundee
29 November 2011 – ARC Stockton On Tees
4 December 2011 – The Duchess York

See you there?

Glenn will be continuing to DJ and play at The Pelton Arms in Greenwich on Thursday nights in the future. Nights he will not be there he will be replaced by ’2bit’ Squeeze producer Andrew J Jones. A fantastic night whichever DJ turns up!

There are some Thursday nights at the Pelton that Glenn won’t be able to do. In his place will be 2bit, he is Glenn’s friend and collaborator in production for The Fluffers and also Squeeze, Andrew J Jones. Andy guest DJ’d with Glenn a couple of weeks ago.

The dates that 2bit will be in place of Glenn are: 21st July, 28th July, 4th and 11th August.

Squeeze at the Greenwich Summer Sessions

Friend of packetofthree Warren King was thankfully at the launch of the Greenwich Summer Sessions yesterday to take photographs:
Greenwich Summer Sessions

Press launch in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College to promote Greenwich Summer Sessions 2011 music festival, that will be held there this July

Here’s what Greenwich Council have to say:

Greenwich Summer Sessions is an incredible open-air concert series set in the stunning grounds of the Old Royal Naval College. This year’s Greenwich Summer Sessions run from 26 to 31 July 2011. Coinciding with the start of the year-long countdown to the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, Greenwich Summer Sessions is becoming one of the most established live events in London’s music and cultural calendar. Leading names from across the music world will be taking to the stage over six evenings of concerts, including:

    Squeeze
    Status Quo
    The Divine Comedy
    José González
    The Pogues
    Mark Ronson and The Business Intl.

Ticket prices:
GreenwichCard holders have been granted exclusive priority access to tickets from Tuesday 8 March – 48 hours before they go on general sale.
A special £2.50 ticket discount also applies for all GreenwichCard holders (offer ends 31 March).
Buy tickets now on the Greenwich Summer Sessions website
Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Thursday 10 March and are priced as follows:
Friday 29 July – Squeeze + support – Standing tickets from £32.50, seated from £47.50, VIP tickets available + booking fee

Squeeze at the Greenwich Summer Sessions

Squeeze are set to return to where they first started their career when they perform a headline date at The Greenwich Summer Sessions on Friday 29 July. Yay! They are the first act confirmed to play the second year of The Greenwich Summer Sessions which last year saw performances from Seth Lakeman and Athlete.

Tickets for Squeeze at The Greenwich Summer Sessions go on sale February 22.
Here’s what http://www.greenwichsummersessions.co.uk/ says:

Greenwich Summer Sessions
26–31 July 2011
An incredible open-air concert series set in the stunning grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
After the success of 2010, we are putting the finishing touches to the line up for 2011 including a concert with very special local heroes.