I guess when you write or borrow songs titled Hot Shaved Asian Teens, Slap and Tickle, Black Coffee in Bed, and even, depending on how far you want to stretch the metaphor, Annie, Get your Gun, then it shouldn't be surprising when you name your backing band 'The Fluffers' (for those not in close proximity to the Simi Valley porn capitol just down the road from me here in SoCal, a 'fluffer' is a girl who, er, in-between scenes in a porn flick, has to, um, keep the guys, blush!, you know, 'at attention', that is to say 'ready for action——oh hell, she's a blow job queen!!). I'm not sure how Lucy Shaw (bass), Simon Hanson (drums), and Stephen Large (keyboards) manage to keep the punters from presuming certain things in between gigs, but I'm betting road life is interesting and so is Live in New York City.
Glenn Tilford was a founding member of the quite successful Squeeze, then, when that folded, dueted in Difford & Tilbrook until Squeeze resurrected, folded again, and from there the lad went on to solo his work. Well, Squeeze is presently in its third incarnation and two of the Fluffers are in it, so the good lord only knows what'll occur from here. Perhaps he'll sign in with King Crimson, wait for their 5,648th collapse, and then carry on yet again in Squeeze's 4th. Meanwhile, he's been on the road, and this DVD captures a night in NYC spent reprising nine Squeeze numbers and seven beyond that. What this portends, then, is an evening of very cool pop. I mean, when the old base unit was comprised of Tilbrook, Difford, and Jools Holland, then you know you're in the hands of gents who know their way around a chart song or two.
And Tilbrook certainly understands what he's doing, delivering a bright and snappy 73 minute concert crackling with propulsive meters and a careful dose of the raw above a predominance of the sort of clean crafting typifying his mode. The guy, though, has an odd soloing vocabulary on guitar, playing jagged clipped runs that contrast the main of the songs, well shown in Hot Shaved Asian Teens where maniac strums spit out pleasingly disjunctured lines. Combining elements of Elvis Costello, Dwight Twilley, Graham Parker, McCartney, and a spectrum of allegiances to the style, Live in NYC never flags in its energies and rhythms, keeping the attendees immensely pleased not only with the music but Tilbrook's autobiographical 'twixt-song patter as well, a peek inside motive and means for the numbers being brought to bear. Oh, and don't be too surprised when the ensemble ends the concert literally playing atop the bar in the intimate Canal Room venue, bringing down the nonexistent curtain with a pub crawl singalong among the celebrants. It fits, it fits.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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