Squeeze are one of the headline acts at Cornbury’s ever-popular music festival this summer. Katie Jarvis asked Chris Difford how it is that, four decades after they started out, he and Glenn Tilbrook are still really cool for cats
Katie Jarvis meets the man behind the legendary band Squeeze as they head for Cornbury Festival
Reading Festival, 1978. The standpipes of two years ago are dripping into six-pack-fuddled memory, but here in Reading the sun is still burning with an intensity that scorches every nostalgic summer of youth. In the UK charts, Frankie Valli has politely outgroved the Commodores’ Three Times a Lady from the numberone spot with a disco-beat Grease. On the Richfield Avenue festival site (special weekend tickets £8.95), there’s not a poodle-skirt in sight: the bubblegum pink of Rydell High School has been stomped into the mud by the angry blackness of an anarchic Doc Marten. (“Grease” is most definitely not the word.) A crowd of 15,000 watches as Paul Weller smashes up a sound-system and Jimmy Pursey weeps as groups of pogoing, safety-pinned Mohicans smash up each other. …And then, on the Sunday, Squeeze play.
“Compare and contrast,” I say to Chris Difford, as if introducing an A-level topic (Compare and contrast the life of a pterodactyl to that of a modern-day
bird). “Take me back to a Squeeze gig – say, Reading 78. How you felt on stage. What your emotions were… Then on to, I dunno [the choice is infinite], Glastonbury 2016. Compare and contrast.”
Because 40 years on, long after the punks had aggressively safety-pinned the holes they ripped through society; long after that old dinosaur, Anarchy, became extinct, Squeeze are still soaring: the latest album, The Knowledge, was released last year to great acclaim, accompanied by a tour of the US; this year, it’s Australia,