Anyone who’s gotten really in the weeds with U.K. pop and rock has likely marveled at the work of Chris Difford. The London-born songwriter is best known as one half of the central brain trust of Squeeze, offering reedy countermelodies and biting lyrics alongside his longtime creative partner and co-founder Glenn Tilbrook.
Squeeze are set to tour the U.K. and America this fall, with their 15th album, The Knowledge, due in October. But before that, Difford is taking some solo time in the form of a new memoir, Some Fantastic Place: My Life In and Out of Squeeze, and a new collection of demos from Edsel that stretches to the days before the Difford-Tilbrook alliance.
Let’s Be Combe Avenue…Demos, 1972 finds Difford at about 18, living with his family in the southeast London suburb Greenwich. With a head full of dreams and an ever-expanding book of lyrics in his possession, Difford enlisted neighbor Bob Blatchford to record some compositions on a reel-to-reel tape machine. A dozen of them (all previously unreleased) are presented on this collection, showcasing the never-before-heard phase of Difford’s work a few years before he placed that fateful ad in a storefront window looking for a guitarist for his then-nonexistent band–which Tilbrook was the first and only person to reply to.
This package is the latest collaboration between Difford and Edsel; the label released Chris to the Mill, a 4CD/DVD box set of his expanded solo albums, this past March.
Let’s Be Combe Avenue is available in the U.K. this Friday, August 25, while Some Fantastic Place is published a week later on August 31.
Let’s Be Combe Avenue…Demos, 1972 (Edsel EDSL-0017, 2017)
- Shades That Watch Bitches
- Look Out
- Ain’t You Sad Girl
- It’s Over
- Save Me
- Sunday People
- To Catch a Girl’s Eyes
- Mice Will Play
- The Funeral
- Have You Seen the City
- You’re So Cute