Glenn Tilbrook (Photo: Danny Clifford)

Another in a series of great concerts is coming to the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich on Thursday, October 6 when Glenn Tilbrook stops by for a solo show. Tilbrook is best known as a founding member of Squeeze, the much-loved new wave band that rode to the top of the charts in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Ask any college kid of that era … Squeeze was everywhere, a staple on FM radio, blending colorful lyrics, catchy melodies, and top musicianship that was fun to dance to. The band continues to tour and releases new music every few years.

I spoke to Tilbrook last week and learned how his solo show differed from the typical Squeeze experience.   

“A traditional Squeeze show is very worked out and that’s the strength that we have,” explained Tilbrook. “By myself, I really like to make it up as I go along, I don’t really work with a set list, I just play whatever occurs.”

Tilbrook has been recording solo for over twenty years, and his live shows consist of mainly Squeeze classics, his own material, and a few covers.

“It’s more intimate and it’s more meandering in a good way. It’s a good vibe, I try to make it as relaxed as possible and people respond to that. I’m happy to see people and I’m happy to be playing,” he added.

Tilbrook formed Squeeze with Chris Difford in 1974, and they rose to prominence in the late 1970’s. The band has remarkable staying power and a dedicated fanbase, as was evident at their pre-pandemic show I attended at The Vets in Providence in February 2020.

“You can’t tell what’s gonna happen over time when you’re doing it. It just felt right. The music does stand up well, but I didn’t know that it was going to stand up at the time. I think we paid attention properly to what we were doing, and it stands up because of that,” said Tilbrook.

Squeeze songs have an upbeat, positive sound, even when the lyrics might not be so uplifting.

“One thing I realized that I did quite a lot – if Chris’s lyrics were sort of downbeat, but if the tune sounds optimistic, that takes you to a different place than if the tune followed the sentiment of the lyrics. It was purely instinctive,” added Tilbrook, who wrote much of the music. “At different places, (the songs) offered a good place for reflection and that’s what we managed to do, again without any plan, but that’s what happened.”

Squeeze fans will be pleased that the band is working on new music.

“We just recorded a new song before I came out here on tour,” Tilbrook shared, “and I think that’s the beginning of Squeeze doing another record, which I think is great. We haven’t had a record out in five years. For us artistically, it’s important to carry on moving forward.”

Head to the Odeum Thursday to hear more. Lisa Bouchelle opens at 8PM.

For tickets and further information, click here.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines.
Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse," a roots/folk/rock radio show every Tuesday, 6-9 PM on WRIU 90.3 FM. He is a former educator in the Scituate, RI school system where he taught Social Studies for over 30 years.
Ken is presently on the board of the Rhode Island Folk Festival and Newport Live (formerly Common Fence Music), a non-profit that brings diverse musical acts to the Newport area.