Great Gigs – Glenn Tilbrook

The Man

One half of the song writing duo dubbed “the Godfathers of Pop”, Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze fame is a force to be reckoned with as a solo performer. Together with Chris Difford he is responsible for writing a cannon of memorable rock and pop songs, has a great voice and should not be underestimated as a guitarist either.

Going Solo

I have been to a few gigs in my time including many performances by my favourite band ever, Squeeze. I was mortified when they disbanded in 1999 and needing a Squeeze fix I decided to pay a visit to Tilbrook’s solo acoustic concert at the Milton Keynes Stables in 2003. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much as I had always loved Squeeze for their rock the house down gigs and I did not see how one band member with a guitar was going to do it for me. How wrong I was!

The Venue

I had not heard of the Buckinghamshire venue until it appeared on my music radar with the announcement of Tilbrook’s tour. I had little idea what to expect and was shocked on my arrival to discover that it was literally a stable converted into an auditorium. The intimate venue seated only 200 people and turned out to be the perfect setting for what I was about to witness.

The Set

Tilbrook arrived on stage to applause as rapturous as could be achieved with only 200 people present. He proceeded to announce that he did not have a set list and was inviting requests which need not be limited to his own material. Whatever people fancied hearing he would have a go at playing! Naturally many of the ensuing requests were for Squeeze songs and we were treated, amongst others, to a heartfelt rendition of “Some Fantastic Place” and a rip roaring rendition of the ever humorous “Piccadilly”. I was absolutely loving it and astounded at how one man could hold an audience in the palm of his hand so effortlessly.

glenn tilbrook


It was incredible how Tilbrook had the ability and recall to play so many songs which were not from his own back catalogue. On hearing a request he could just burst into song as if it was all planned and rehearsed. Between tracks he talked to the audience as if we were all in his front room and there was a charm and intimacy to the evening that I had never seen before.

The Best Moment

The highlight of the evening was definitely the unusual delivery of “Perfect Day” the Lou Reed song of charity record fame. Tilbrook invited several members of the audience up on to the stage, lined them up and told them to each approach the microphone in turn and deliver the next line of the song. The result was a hilarious performance in which the surprise star turns attempted to reach the microphone in time to deliver their line prompted by Tilbrook. It was a highly original take on audience participation.

An Experience

All in all it was a magnificent evening filled with joyous music, great humour and many surprises. I have never known time to pass so quickly and in such a small venue I felt like I was part of the gig not merely just watching it.

Westmount Music is a fabulous music shop in Marlow, Buckinghamshire offering a huge range of instruments and accessories to suit all budgets.

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