Squeeze aiming to stay on their toes at Plymouth Pavilions
IT'S been more than 35 years since Squeeze burst on to the music scene and they are still packing out music venues around the country.
With their fingerprints keenly felt throughout the fabric of popular music, it is only right their songs, with their evergreen and popular sound, continue to be played and enjoyed live.
And so since 2007, the newly reformed Squeeze have been slowly finding time to play a series of gigs and festival dates.
They are currently on the road, stopping off at Plymouth Pavilions on Tuesday.
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Since founders Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook reformed the band with Squeeze veteran John Bentley and Tilbrook's Fluffers cohorts Stephen Large and Simon Hanson, the band has become an instant favourite on the festival circuit with appearances at V, Oxegen, T in the Park and Latitude — and this year take to the stage at the seminal US Festival Coachella.
Despite being in the business for years, they aren't complacent.
"The way to keep it fresh is to keep us on our toes," said Glenn.
"We should never fall into the comfort zone, we need to constantly pay attention to our work, else we'll slip up.
"We got comfortable in the 90s and started to take it all for granted, and I think that is why we ended to be honest.
"I had nearly 10 years away and that really rejuvenated me. I'd forgotten how enthusiastic I could be. I don't want Squeeze to fall back into being cosy again.
"We're putting all our energies into the tour and creating back projections for the stage. This year we're over reaching and I really think its the best tour we've ever done.
"I'm most proud of the fact we're still here today, it's an amazing achievement to still be going strong."
The band is forward thinking and is hosting a pop up shop during the tour, where fans can buy recordings of each concert.
"We've got songs which have stood the test of time and to bring us right up to date we've got the pop up shop which people appreciate and it's a personal touch," said Glenn.
Squeeze's contribution to music was noted in 2010 with the site of their first gig being awarded a prestigious PRS For Music Heritage Plaque, which has so far commemorated the debuts of Blur and Dire Straits.
It joins an ever-increasing list of Squeeze accolades alongside their recent Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and their Nordoff-Robbins Icon Award.
"Traditionally, musicians say they keep their awards in their toilet, but I won't lie, mine are in my studio," said Glenn.
"I'm very proud of them. I didn't get an award until four years ago and it was never important to me as I've always had a good sense of self belief.
"My first award was the Ivor Novello. I didn't realise how nice it would feel to receive it.
"It was humbling to get recognition from my peers."
Along the way Glenn and co have worked alongside Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Vanessa Paradis, which he believes was a great experience.
"They came to a Squeeze show a few years ago and I was finishing a record with my other band the Fluffers in LA," said Glenn.
"I asked if they'd like to be on the record and they said yes. They visited the studio and recorded. Vanessa has such a lovely voice and Johnny agreed to narrate an instrumental song called Too Close to the Sun.
"At their level of fame, it's a feat to be so normal and grounded."
Outside of work, Glenn enjoys cooking, holidays and spending time with his family, but also makes a commitment to raising money for a charity.
He is a member of the charity Love Hope Strength, set up by his good friend Mike Peters (The Alarm).
Work for this has involved record-breaking treks up to Everest base camp and trekking up Kilimanjaro with fellow musicians, raising money to buy equipment to help cancer sufferers across the world.
"The biggest challenge for me was climbing Kilimanjaro," said Glenn.
"I was pleased to get to Everest base cap and coped well with the oxygen levels.
"I got a little bit over confident after that. I approached Kilimanjaro like it was a walk in the park, but it wasn't.
"It was difficult as I got sick as well, it wasn't fun. I remember getting to the top and thinking the view was amazing and I had to take it all in.
"I wanted to treasure the memory of being at the top, and indeed I do.
"It's an amazing feeling. You can see all the IMAX films out there, but there's no substitute to that view."
To book tickets contact the box office on 0845 146 1460 or visit www.plymouthpavilions.com with 'print at home' ticketing.