GLEN Tilbrook played an outstanding set in Southampton on the last night of his nationwide tour.

Performing alone and mostly acoustically, the Squeeze frontman delighted the near capacity crowd with songs from his own albums and those from his legendary partnership with Chris Difford.

It didn’t take long before Tilbrook’s dedicated fans were joining along with firm favourites such as Tempted, the incredibly moving Labelled with Love and even a couple of sing-a-long music hall favourites.

Tilbrook’s songs tell simple and ageless tales of life’s ups and downs, but always with more hope than despair. At the very least there is always a South Londoner’s cheerful acceptance of how things turn out.

Tilbrook’s music means a lot to his fans. Most have clearly been with him since the early days, which the singer readily saluted. One described themself as ‘Vintage Squeeze.” They all enjoyed the gig as much as Tilbrook.

The brilliant Some Fantastic Place and the melancholic account of love in South West London, Up the Junction, once again showed Tilbrook’s gift of captivating audiences with words and guitars. He is one of the great musical storytellers of our time.

In between songs, Tilbrook proved an entertaining raconteur, including revealing how with a new shorter haircut he can now get mistaken for Prime Minister David Cameron.

While this current tour ended in Southampton, next year is set to be just as busy. Squeeze are to reunite again and produce a brand new album to accompany an ITV adaptation of Danny Baker’s best-selling autobiography.
Baker once called Squeeze “Britain’s roll and rock flagship” and it is difficult to disagree with their huge contribution to guitar band sounds.

Only singers like Paul McCartney and Paul Weller can compete with such a dedicated following of fans and a back catalogue of music that builds a welcome bridge to the past, but is still as important now as it has ever been.

Richard Derbyshire