Glenn Tilbrook – 9 April 2005, Rams Head, Annapolis, MD
The staff at the Rams Head Tavern probably knew they were in trouble Saturday night when Glenn Tilbrook and band walked off the stage into the audience, stood on chairs in the middle of the club and invited everyone to sing and dance along to “Goodbye Girl.” The Annapolis venue is used to having patrons remaining seated (and hushed) at assigned tables, but the co-founder of Squeeze was having none of it.
“I think it’ll be more fun if everyone just moves over here in front of the stage,” the 47-year-old rocker told the crowd before prepping it with essential harmony parts for the next song, “Tempted.” He was right.
The fans didn’t need to be asked twice and remained standing, and in full voice, for the rest of the show. Interactive concert going on this sort of intimate scale is a rare thing, but in his solo career.
Tilbrook has made it a trademark. He’s having fun only if everyone in the room is taking part.
For nearly two hours, Tilbrook, battling a raspy voice, revisited the songs he and his Squeeze cohort Chris Difford made famous, including the power pop gems “Black Coffee in Bed, Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) and “Take Me, I’m Yours.
With his three band mates, keyboardist Stephen Large, bassist Lucy Shaw and drummer Simon Hanson, he also showed off new material from his solo career, including “This Is Where You Ain’t.” From last year’s “Transatlantic Ping Pong,” he dropped in “Hostage” and a sweet and sentimental ode to an old friend, “Ray and Me.” While the late-night crowd cheered the new stuff, it roared for the older, more familiar tunes, such as “Up the Junction” and “Hourglass.” It has been three decades since Squeeze first formed and two since its heyday.
But Tilbrook’s enthusiasm for rocking out seems at an all-time high. You would have thought he was playing for a crowd of 20,000, not 250.
– Joe Heim
Thanks to Carole for the review.