Glenn Tilbrook has more than earned his place at pop’s top table as one of our most cherished singers, guitarists and songwriters, not to mention an in-demand and endlessly endearing live performer. But more than 40 years after he first answered an ad placed by Chris Difford looking for like-minded sorts to form the band that became the much-loved evergreen Squeeze, an ending is nowhere in sight.
Such is the continuing work ethic of a fellow who’s never been far from the action since Squeeze made their recording bow with the Packet Of Three EP in 1977. Those humble three tracks led to such enduring pop classics as Take Me I’m Yours, Cool For Cats, Up The Junction, Another Nail In My Heart, Tempted, Labelled With Love, Black Coffee In Bed, Hourglass (this could go on for a while…), not to mention landmark albums like Argybargy, East Side Story and Some Fantastic Place.
Squeeze’s demise in 1998 (though not permanent) saw Glenn embark on a solo career that spawned the albums The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook (2001) and Transatlantic Ping-Pong (2004), showcasing an ever-maturing songwriting talent. In 2009 came the fantastic energy of Pandemonium Ensues, an album made with his solo touring band The Fluffers. Arguably, though, Happy Ending is Glenn’s most personal work to date, a series of evocative portraits of time, people and places, that included writing and vocal contributions by his own children Leon and Wesley, in addition to old friends Simon Hanson (Fluffers/reunited Squeeze drummer) and Dennis Greaves (Nine Below Zero, also Glenn’s compatriot in the side project band The Co-operative).
Anyone who has witnessed Glenn on the live stage can attest to the properness of his doings, as it were. Armed with ready wit, raucous vibes and a shed load of grin-inducing great songs, there are few musicians able to connect with their audience on such an immediate and warm level. The ever burgeoning festival circuit is frequently enriched by Tilbrook the troubadour, whether he be leafing through the plentiful back catalogue of Squeeze or dashing off impromptu audience requests ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Tony Orlando & Dawn, and all points in-between.