Saturday 17 June 2023

Glenn Tillbrook and the Beautiful Landing - The Brook, Southampton - 16th June 2023

I'd seen Glenn Tillbrook twice before, once solo at the tiny West End Centre in Aldershot and once, with Squeeze, at G-Live in Guildford.

I'd particularly enjoyed the Aldershot gig and when I saw he was doing a 'Glastonbury warm-up gig' at The Brook, in Southampton, I bought a ticket.

It had almost slipped my mind by the time it came around, but I set off in plenty of time, only to be massively delayed by a drunken idiot in a silver BMW causing a multiple car accident that closed the M3!

So it was that I arrived just as the support act completed their final song. On the strength of that, they didn't really sound my cup of tea and I wasn't too worried, just being pleased I hadn't missed the main event.

At nine sharp, Glenn appeared with a couple of members of the support act and performed a solo song, By the Light of the Cash Machine.

His voice is distinctly the voice of Squeeze, even though Chris Difford (Who I'd also seen earlier in the year) does sing lead on a few tracks, and sounded good still, although initially the sound balance wasn't great, with the lead guitarist (his son, I think) drowning out the vocals much of the time.

This did improve as the set progressed (I saw Glenn point to himself and then upwards at one point).

The solo tracks were 'Squeeze'ish and generally enjoyable and well received, but I didn't recognise any of them.

Luckily, Glenn is no fool and knows that many come to hear him perform Squeeze tracks, which do make up a good part of his career of course and we soon got one in the form of 'Annie Get Your Gun'.

Squeeze were always a band I liked, but never really followed in period and, truth be told, I've enjoyed the solo gigs by Chris and Glenn more than the full Squeeze one I went to, but I do find the songs catchy, clever and witty, so it's always a pleasure to hear them.

We had another couple of solo tracks, now with most of the support band (as The Beautiful Landing now) on stage, providing a slightly too powerful sound in the small venue, but I'm sure they'll be great on a festival stage.

Then we were into a prolonged set of Squeeze songs that had the crowd singing along and applauding loudly.

"Temptation for Love" wasn't a track I recognised, but the female singer from the backing band joined Glenn for this one and it was really rather good, a moment of peace in a largely energetic set.

A rather unexpected inclusion was a solo cover on guitar of "Don't You Want Me" by the Human League, which reminded me a lot of the Aldershot gig, where Glenn took requests!

The hits "Another Nail in my Heart", "Pulling Mussells" and "Up The Junction" were stand outs for me, but we got a good selection of Squeeze's hits.

The encore was barely noticeable as such, as the band put down their instruments, said "Thank You" and then promptly put them back on and performed an instrumental track!

The evening rounded out with Labelled With Love and Slap & Tickle (no "Cool For Cats" tonight!), before they finally left the stage.

A lot of people left, but I was half expecting a 'proper' encore, so hung around for a while, but when the lights came on, I knew it was time to leave.

So, where did I rank this performance? Well, it was good, but I still think the Aldershot one was the best I've seen Glenn Tillbrook.

I do think, though, that the band and the setlist will go down a storm at Glastonbury, so if you're going, go and have a listen!

By the Light of the Cash Machine
Everybody Sometimes
Happy Disposition
Annie Get Your Gun(Squeeze song)
Parallel World
Is That Love (Squeeze song)
Temptation for Love (Squeeze song)
Another Nail in My Heart (Squeeze song)
Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) (Squeeze song)
Don't You Want Me (The Human League cover)
Black Coffee in Bed (Squeeze song)
Tempted (Squeeze song)
Goodbye Girl (Squeeze song)
Up the Junction (Squeeze song)
Take Me I'm Yours (Squeeze song)
One for the Road
Labelled With Love (Squeeze song)
Slap & Tickle (Squeeze song)