Tuesday, August 14, 2007


last night agent 00soul and i stepped out to the fountains of wayne/squeeze show at the greek -- a rare night for fun and fun alone. a pal of ours set us up with tickets, and the venue gave us the fancy parking and hospitality (which meant a quick hello to assorted weasels and a free first round).

we arrived early b/c we wanted to see fountains of wayne. they seemed a little taken aback by the lack of audience -- it might have been a quarter full. maybe. by the end of the set. that surprised me too. the most vocal FOW contingent seemed to be far behind me to my right. but the tickets were expensive if you just wanted to see their 45-minute set.

during which they crammed in the tunes. they did newer stuff like the hit "someone to love," the twangy "fire in the canyon," and the funky "strapped for cash"; recent classics including "hey julie" and "stacy's mom"; and older numbers such as "red dragon tattoo" and "radiation vibe." they played some of this same stuff when i saw them at largo in july 2005, and i think i liked that show better, but this was pretty great. it has recently been argued that originality in pop is dead, but i just can't think of another band that could write "bright future in sales." (which they did not do last night.)

squeeze arrived more spiffily attired -- each of the five in a dark suit with a different colored shirt: turquoise, canary, crimson, black, and white -- and filled the place to at least 2/3 capacity ... still less than i expected. too bad for the people who missed it -- leaders chris difford and glenn tilbrook, with east side story-era bassist john bentley, keyboardist stephen large, and drummer simon hanson, worked up a well paced set that had almost everyone on their feet by the end. D&T seemed comfortable on stage, but there wasn't a lot of interaction b/w them. they gave each other props and stuff, but ... i dunno. at one point i asked 00soul, "do these guys like each other?" apparently that is a complicated question.

i realized i don't know, or only vaguely know, most of the squeeze catalog. except for "tempted" -- currently shilling for heineken on your TV, but also on the radio a lot when i was young. difford and tilbrook had more than that, of course, over the 90 or so minutes on monday. stephen large, a tall, skinny, mod-y type fellow who stood b/w two keyboards, grooved visibly and was generally entertaining to watch. i pondered the voluptuous thread of soul music running through squeeze's pop, and i also thought it is a crime that xtc has not done a tour. fuck all that andy partridge stage-fright BS. they could electrify a whole new generation and gratify those who've never had the pleasure. wtf, they could even make money.

anyway, squeeze saved "tempted" for the encore, and it was worth the wait. not a heineken in sight, i might add.

1 comment:

Erik Himmelsbach said...

I was at the Squeeze show, but I didn't feel any love from the audience toward the band. It was all very polite. I expected more, but I realized that Squeeze was a band whom radio listeners and album buyers connected to. No one waxes nostalgic about a transcended Squeeze gig at the Country Club in 1980. They weren't that sort of band. It was weird. I also saw Riders on the Storm at some shed in OC and they got much greater response -- and those guys blew big fat chunks. Go figure.