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A rare breed…chris difford

As a member of one of London’s best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as ‘Cool For Cats’, ‘Up The Junction’, ‘Labelled With Love’, ‘Hourglass’ and ‘Tempted’. Despite the fact that Chris has helped soundtrack so many fans’ lives since his first release in 1977, the passion for innovation and love of playing still drives him to carry on writing rather than sit back and admire his handiwork. Chris recently celebrated his 60th birthday and for 41 of those years he has been writing with Glenn Tilbrook, very much the Odd Couple. When Squeeze take a break from the road, Glenn and Chris have been touring their ‘At Odds Couple Tour’.

Chris and Glenn have a new Squeeze album based on the life of Danny Baker, the soundtrack for the BBC production ‘From The Cradle To The Grave’, the first Squeeze album for 15 years.

Cool for CatsOver the course of a 13 album career with Squeeze, it was clear  that Chris Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His ‘kitchen sink-drama’ style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Influencing Lily Allen, Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Razorlight and The Feeling,  all recognised the debt they owe to Squeeze’s music and to Difford’s way with words; along with Glenn Tilbrook, journalists dubbed the pair ‘The New Lennon and McCartney’.

Chris first learned to stand on his own when he wrote the lyrics for the fictional band Strange Fruit in the 1998 British comedy film ‘Still Crazy’, for which he won his first Ivor Novello award. Since then he has written and contributed lyrics for  Elton John, Wet Wet Wet, Lisa Stansfield and Bryan Ferry. Chris somehow found time to release three solo albums to date – 2003’s ‘I Didn’t Get Where I Am’ and ‘The Last Temptation Of Chris’ in 2008. ‘Cashmere If You Can’ was released in 2010.

In 2008, super fan Mark Ronson presented Glenn and Chris with the Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, while Lily Allen called them the Robert De Niro of music when they received the Nordoff-Robbins Icon Award. The lineup has been winning fans all over again with gigs and festival appearances at the likes of V, Oxygen, T in The Park and Latitude, reminding us all of the outstanding back catalogue that Squeeze possess. Chris is currently completing his book, a biography called ‘I Never Thought It Would Happen’ which should be on the bookshelves by the middle of 2016.

See Chris Difford + Melvin Duffy live, 13 August, 8pm. Tickets £15

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