The new single by Squeeze
‘Rough Ride’ single impact date 23rd Feb 2018
From the new album ‘The Knowledge’ out NOW
On Love Records via ADA Warner
“Old fans will be delighted: new recruits may be seduced”
★★★★ – Q
Squeeze have released ‘Rough Ride’; the new single from their 15th studio album, The Knowledge, which has received universal critical and commercial success. On this album, Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford felt something needed to be said about the current state of British welfare crisis. A sombre note of austerity echoes across ‘Rough Ride’, lamenting the struggles faced living in the capital, its ultimately hopeful message enriched by guest performers also from South London, namely the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir and the Thorntree School Choir.
Featuring choral arrangements and a Freddie Hubbard-esque trumpet solo, culminating in the biting question “Austerity, austerity, is that all you have to give to me?” this is Squeeze at their most socially conscious and musically ambitious. It also shows an evolution in Squeeze’s songwriting, with Glenn taking up the lyrical mantle for this particular tune. Chris Difford comments, “As I listen to this now I can’t get over how well the band are sparking, it’s a well-tuned engine at its best. Glenn wrote this one and I’m pleased that he did, it’s something I would have found difficult to convey with such accuracy. Simon plays some wonderful drums on this while Stephen leans to the soul of the song.”
“Squeeze brim with a relaxed confidence here”
Squeeze’s political stance has also made an impact with the general public during their 24 date UK Tour, becoming a stand-out track amongst fans and garnering praise from publications such as The Scotsman, who states: “From the latter record, they champion the NHS and – most effectively of all – scorn the legacy of unaffordable housing and austerity which their generation has left their children,” in their 4 star review of Squeeze’s Edinburgh show.
“The Knowledge is again enriched with songs relating to Difford and Tilbrook’s old stamping grounds”
★★★★ – Record Collector
After adapting the lyrics to 2015’s ‘Cradle To The Grave’ during a live performance on The Andrew Marr Show (attended also by Prime Minister at the time David Cameron) Glenn wrote a piece for The Guardian Online stating:
“Cameron was talking about knocking down sink estates and rebuilding “affordable housing”. I have four children, and I despair at what has happened to the economy and to UK house prices. It has got to the point where people are no longer able to live in the areas where they grew up unless they have some sort of financial help. I think that’s a result of a system of values that have been encouraged by this government, which is completely wrong – and it wasn’t helped by the previous government either”.
Produced by Glenn, Andrew Jones and Laurie Latham, ‘The Knowledge’ was recorded at 45 RPM Studios in Charlton, and finds Glenn and Chris once again in the company of drummer Simon Hanson and keyboard wizard Stephen Large, plus a couple of new faces; Yolanda Charles on bass and Steve Smith on percussion.
Watch the video for first single ‘Innocence In Paradise’
Uncut 7/10 “an endlessly pleasing melting pot”
‘The Knowledge’ tracklisting:
1. Innocence In Paradise
4. Every Story
5. A Rough Ride
6. Departure Lounge
7. Final Score
8. Please Be Upstanding
9. The Ones
11. Elmers End
12. Two Forks
After their resurgence in 2015 with UK Top 20 and critically acclaimed album Cradle To The Grave, the first Squeeze album of new songs since 1998, Squeeze went on to play the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2016, solidifying themselves as one of the UK’s best live acts. The Guardian said their performance “[went] down a storm… Squeeze’s success is a pretty infectious thing” and Acoustic magazine concluded that “they don’t have the bombastic hype of headliners Coldplay, but they have the songcraft and lyrical majesty to leave the headliners in the dust which they duly did.”
Squeeze first formed in 1973, shortly after Chris and Glenn had begun their songwriting partnership, brought together by an ad in a sweetshop window. By 1977 they had made their recording debut and enjoyed a string of hits which lasted until 1982, the maturity of their songs outliving their initial burst of chart activity on the back of New Wave. Over the years there have been solo careers and occasional separations, but the Ivor Novello Award-winning duo reunited ten years ago to relaunch Squeeze and have been touring, writing and recording together since.