King King With Support From Glen Tillbrook
As I made my way up to Manchester’s Academy 2, to cover King King, A name synonymous with great music and musicianship, more importantly, having a great reputation for having a great time, judging by the number of people already in the room, (on a horrid and miserable night of weather), it’s clear they have come to party. For me, it’s a double whammy tonight, as the support act is from Glen Tillbrook, one half of the wonderful band Squeeze.
Glenn Martin Tilbrook is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the English new wave band Squeeze, a band formed in the mid-1970s that broke through in the new wave era at the decade’s end. He generally wrote the music for Squeeze’s songs, while his writing partner, Chris Difford, wrote the lyrics. In addition to his songwriting skills, Tilbrook is respected both as a singer and an accomplished guitarist.
Tillbrook took to the stage right on time and cast a lonely figure, front and centre stage, with only a trusty guitar as a backup. What he did bring was the fabulous Squeeze songbook. There was a nice relaxed feeling to the set, which is a testament to Tillbrook’s vocal and musical expertise. He did put on a one-man show and brought out the back catalogue, we were treated to “Slap and Tickle”, “Hourglass”, and tempted, we even had a couple of covers thrown in, “My Boy Lollipop”, the Millie Small version, was followed by The Human Leagues, “Don’t You Want Me”, which Tillbrook, enticed the audience to do backing vocals on the chorus, which they duly did.
“Labelled With Love”, was immense as was “From Cradle To The Grave”, Lyrically Squeeze has always been way ahead of the crowd, Tillbrook displayed that on the wonderful “Another Nail To My Heart”, and there was simply no way he would get away with not playing”Up The Junction”. It was a triumphant 45-minute set. I for one will be back when the full band are out in force, in the near future.
As the sound of ACDC’s “Highway to Hell” fades away, the familiar kilted figure of Alan Nimmo takes to the stage. With arms aloft, the man with one of the widest smiles in the music business greets the audience. Launching into “Dance Together” the crowd is immediately on side. “Long Time Coming”, and “Heed The Warning”, firmly warm the crowd.
The addition of Alan’s brother Stevie on second guitar and vocals has added a breath of fresh air and a new dimension to the band. Something Alan had been looking for quite some time. Added to the already stunning lineup of Jonny Dyke (keys), fellow Scots Andrew Scott (drums) and Zander Greenshields (bass), the mighty King King is sounding arguably the best it ever has.
A powerful “Whatever It Takes” is followed by a stellar version of “You Stopped The Rain”, this was matched by a great version of, “Rush Hour” which, as always, has the audience joining in as they do with some vigour. “I Will Not Fall”, is a crowd-pleaser and showcases the band in their element.
“Old Love” and “Let Love In”, bring the set to an end it’s easy to see why they sell out venues, up and down the country. It’s just music. Real music. And real music always has and always will stand the test of time.
King King’s music is the kind of music that makes people happy. And let’s face it, especially in these all too dark and difficult times, who doesn’t want to be happy?
Not convinced? It’s simple. Get along to a show and find out for yourself.
1/ Dance together.
2/ Long time running.
3/ Heed the warning.
4/ By your side.
5/ Lose control.
6/ Long history.
7/ Waking up.
8/ Whatever it takes.
9/ You stopped the rain.
10/ Rush hour will not fall.
12/ Old Love.
13/ Let love in.
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