The Psychedelic Furs may not have invented rock & roll per se, but their influence since arriving on the post-punk scorched-earth landscape four decades ago has reverberated and resonated among all those who cherish the sweet-and-sour spot where rawness and romanticism meet. Born out of the UK rock scene and led by vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler, and his bass-wielding brother Tim, the Furs quickly developed as one of the premiere bands at college and alternative radio scoring a multitude of major hits with "Love My Way," "Pretty In Pink," "Heaven," "The Ghost In You," and “Heartbreak Beat” in all releasing eight studio albums, spawning several compilations, a boxed set, a live concert DVD and inspiring one of the most iconic motion picture soundtracks of all time. Their latest release “Made Of Rain” became the Furs’ second highest charting UK Album ever and was prominently featured in the end of year “Best Albums” roundup in a multitude of publications worldwide. The Furs especially thrive live in concert having headlined the U.K.’s famed Glastonbury Festival, performing at sold out gigs at the California’s Hollywood Bowl and continuing to tour quite regularly around the globe.
The Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals); Tim Butler (bass); Rich Good (guitar); Mars Williams (saxophone); Amanda Kramer (keyboards) and Zachary Alford (drums).
Squeeze’s debut self-titled album was released by A&M in 1978 (after a three-song EP) at the height of the punk revolution, but its pop songwriting hooks and melodies hark back to the ‘60s British Invasion. That album included the track, “Take Me I’m Yours,” followed by a cadre of hits on the UK charts including “Cool for Cats,” “Up the Junction,” “Pulling Mussels From A Shell,” “Black Coffee in Bed” and “Labeled With Love.” Squeeze’s hits “Tempted,” “Hourglass” and “853-5937” (from East Side Story) made their mark in the U.S. in 1981.
Squeeze disbanded in 1999 and reunited in 2007, releasing three new albums since then (2010’s Spot the Difference, 2015’s Cradle to the Grave and 2017’s The Knowledge,) as well as various solo projects from both Chris and Glenn. Aside from Difford and Tilbrook, Squeeze now features keyboardist Stephen Large and drummer Simon Hanson (since 2007) percussionist/backing vocalist Steve Smith (frontman for electronic band Dirty Vegas) along with pedal/lap steel guitarist Melvin Duffy (who joined them for the 2019 tour) and Owen Biddle, former bassist for The Roots WHO JOINED IN 2020.
The band’s “Squeeze Songbook 2019” tour featured opening acts like KT Tunstall, They Might Be Giants, X, Marshall Crenshaw, the Mavericks and Leon Tilbrook in selected cities and was widely praised by critics. Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl even joined the band at the Bourbon & Beyond Festival in Louisville in September 2019 to perform percussion on “Black Coffee in Bed.”
Squeeze most recently toured across the U.S. in 2021 with HALL & OATES, being the first UK band to tour the US since the pandemic.
It's 1973 in South London. Teenage friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook form the band that will see them dubbed 'The New Lennon and McCartney'. Over 35 years later, with their legacy intact and as vital as it has ever been, Squeeze are still touring and reminding fans worldwide just why they have left such an indelible impression on the UK's music scene.
As teenagers on the South London scene, Squeeze - setting out their stall early on by facetiously naming themselves after a poorly-received Velvet Underground album, comprised of Jools Holland on keys, Harry Kakouli on bass and Paul Gunn on drums. They became a fixture of the burgeoning New Wave movement. When Gilson Lavis replaced Gunn on drums everything seemed to fall into place, and word of mouth soon spread about the band - ironically, it was none other than Velvet Underground man John Cale who caught wind in 1977 and offered to produce their debut EP Packet Of Three and much of the ensuing album.
Yet it was second album Cool For Cats, released in 1979, which cemented their place as one of Britain's most important young bands. Featuring the classic single Up The Junction as well as the title track, it was many listeners' first introduction to the witty kitchen-sink lyricism and new-wave guitar music that has become the band's trademark. With albums Argybargy and the Elvis Costello-produced East Side Story, Squeeze even started to make waves across the pond, although in 1980 former Roxy Music and Ace - and future Mike & The Mechanics - man Paul Carrack would replace Jools Holland, going on to lend his unmistakeable vocals to the smash hit Tempted.
By 1984 Squeeze had disbanded. The chemistry between Tilbrook and Difford could not be as easily dismissed however, and the ensuing record they made together has become the 'lost' Squeeze album for many fans. But the band couldn't lay dormant for long, as Squeeze reformed the next year for Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti, along with Holland, Lavis and Keith Wilkinson, Squeeze's longest serving bass player.
Over the next 12 years Difford and Tilbrook remained the only constant element as Squeeze continued to receive critical acclaim, release albums and tour, with the likes of Hourglass becoming their biggest ever hit in the USA. Despite an official Squeeze break-up in 1999, Difford and Tilbrook continued to make music and gig with the same enthusiasm and abandon that they brought to Squeeze's first EP, either with their own solo projects or with each other.
As befits one of the UK's much-loved acts, there is no end of Squeeze fans currently wearing their influences firmly on their sleeve, whether it be Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Supergrass, Lily Allen, The Feeling or Razorlight. With their fingerprints keenly felt throughout the fabric of popular music, it is only right that these songs, with their evergreen and popular sound, continue to be played and enjoyed live. And so since 2007, a newly reformed Squeeze have been slowly finding time to play a series of gigs and festival dates, preferring to reaffirm their abilities as a band rather than follow some of their peers who have come out in a blaze of publicity, only to be met with disappointment.
The new Squeeze line-up, their most able yet, is completed by Squeeze veteran John Bentley and Tilbrook's Fluffers cohorts Simon Hanson and Stephen Large, and has become an instant favourite on the festival circuit since reforming with appearances at V, Oxegen, T in the Park and Latitude. Squeeze's contribution to music has been noted in 2010 with the site of their first gig being awarded a prestigious PRS For Music Heritage Plaque, which has so far commemorated the debuts of Blur and Dire Straits. It joins an ever-increasing list of Squeeze accolades ,alongside their recent Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music and their Nordoff-Robbins Icon Award. Chris Difford's lyrics and Glenn Tilbrook's music have survived everything over the years, from the ever-changing musical landscape to their own internal reshuffles and acrimonious breakups - but Squeeze is here to stay, still going strong and still loving every moment.