Glenn's old outfit, 'Squeeze' were a British new wave band hailing from SE London in the early eighties (from the same area as me! In fact several members sent their children to my school?) chalking up a string of hits such as 'Cool for Cats' and 'Labelled with Love'. A small but loyal fan base followed the band into their 'MOR years', but an ever fluctuating line up and a ubiquitous series of splits and reunions led to Squeeze's eventual demise. Now Glenn tours the world in an RV with family in tow bashing his way through a vast back catalogue adapted for acoustic guitar and solo delivery.I had the fortune of catching two shows whilst he was in town, and Glenn's shows are full of energy and enthusiasm with Glenn frequently abandoning the mic and wandering the stage. His songs of lamented love and forbidden fancies interspersed with anecdotes and musical tales of two decades on the road, well documented in Amy Pickard's film 'One for the road' which received it's debut showing prior to his first performance. The seated, older and more sedate audience at 'Don't Tell Tom' on Friday night were reluctant to fully immerse themselves in the many acts of participation that Glenn had planned, preferring instead to shout requests that are gleefully added to the set ad hoc. The younger, keener and more energetic audience at 'the Espy' on Wednesday night however were up for everything thrown at them, singing along without prompting in all the right places and gathered in a throng at the front of the stage for the entirety of the set.The second half of The Espy show Glenn was backed by the infamous Rockwiz orchestra with the intention of adding a little more 'Rock' to the show and I'm unsure if they really did Glenn any favours. All the songs were played too slowly, this coupled with Glenn's obvious nervousness at playing with an unfamiliar band drew away some of his earlier energy and presence, a friend at the show nicknamed them 'The Masters of Homogenisation√Æ which describes their effect on all they back beautifully.Life for the old stalwarts of Rock that refuse to quit touring must be an odd existence, over 20 years of material and all audiences primarily want to hear are your early 'hits'. At the very least frustrating, possibly even a little depressing, however Glenn certainly doesn't show it.
Published in Inpress number 693