Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook eager for Hampton Court Palace FestivalBy Tim Tonkin
May 24, 2012
Guitarist and singer, Glenn Tilbrook, was a key component in the formation of British New Wave band Squeeze in the mid 1970s, with the group best known today for their memorable hits including Cool for Cats and Up the Junction.
Despite several hiatuses during a career spanning four decades, the group reformed in 2007 and are now set to appear at this summer’s Hampton Court Palace Festival on June 24.
Squeeze have played plenty of gigs and venues in their time, but have not visited the Hampton Court Festival?
“It is a new one for us, I have not been there since I was about 10-years-old,” said Glenn.
“You can put on a gig anywhere though, I have played one in the middle of the desert in California and played a gig 1,000 feet above the Everest base camp.
“That was very difficult to do with regard to singing as cannot get a proper lung full of air.”
The band has had a number of hiatuses over the years, but are back with renewed energy.
“History has taught me never to say anything about my future,” he said.
“We felt like the world’s best Squeeze tribute band when we got back together [in 2007] but now we have got some proper bite and energy to it, the intensity of the band is equal to when we started.
“We will never have that first flash of energy again but you can replace that with experience.”
The British music scene and the way bands rise to prominence is very different today than when Squeeze was formed, but Glenn thinks it is as vibrant as ever.
“The music scene is as alive and healthy as it has ever been, it is the platforms that you might see that have changed,” he said. “Squeeze was lucky to come up when we did as we were left alone to records. People today get record deals and have to make an instant hit.
“It is a cruel business but I do not think that is anything to do with the music itself. There are still lots of bands out there making good music.”
He said a variety of different musicians and performers influenced him growing up.
“I was exposed to a lot of different music when I was young thanks to my parents, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett,” he said. “Later on I got into bands like T Rex and The Faces. The energy and camaraderie they had on stage as well as being a really great rock band who had a great time on stage was something to aspire to.”
And he added there were a couple of other acts on the Hampton Court bill who he was keen to see.
“It will be good to see Jools Holland and Liza Minnelli is a fantastic performer with a stage craft that is just amazing,” he said.
The festival will also feature stellar performances by Liza Minnelli, Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Van Morrison, James Morrison, Caro Emerald, Katie Melua, Frankie Valli & The four Seasons, John Barrowman and a Classical Gala with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Steve Bell. For full details and tickets visit online at www.hamptoncourpalacefestival.com.