Trust me, there's a reason I posted this on Ricochet.
Once upon a time Squeeze turned out tight brilliant pop tunes that often told a tale. Earnest young love in lower-class straits, boozy pub misadventures. The vernacular lyrics may have mystified American audiences - it took me a while to figure out, for example, that a character who pretended he was flush with cash “had done his mother’s meter” meant that he’d stolen the coins she used to pay for the gas in the flat. (I think.) (Delingpole or James of England, help me out.)
They had two fine singer-songwriters (one a crooner, the other a guy who sang like a frog with a cold) a propulsive drummer, and a manic jester keyboard player. Too smart to be just pop, too personal to be a post-punk Important Band like the Clash, too human for nerd-wave status like the Talking Heads. You could sense the weariness as soon as they hit it big, though. “Sweets from a Stranger” was over-produced; it spawned a hit single the old fans didn’t like; the songwriting wasn’t up to par. They were tired, and the band split up after the tour.
They reunited, but the spark was never there. The songs developed a bad case of Costelloitis, swapping melody and simple structure for baroque indulgence. But every so often they’d just bang out a classic, and “Frank” had “Rose I Said,” an urgent little number with a a rote hook but a classic chorus. This live version is too rushed, but what makes it Ricochet-worthy is the chap who introduces the band. He was a fan. Smart guy, but you knew that.
So, Pat: Did you get to hang with the band after the show?