Review: Squeeze, Pelton Arms
Pelton Arms, Greenwich
The south Londoners roll out their hits in an intimate setting before a month-long UK tour kicks off, writes Russell Handy.
On the side door of Greenwich back street boozer The Pelton Arms is a sign saying 'Pay What You Think It's Worth Wednesdays'.
Beyond that heavily-guarded Banning Street entrance, a lucky few were treated to a free, not-so-secret warm-up gig by pop band Squeeze.
Looking happy to be back, founding members Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook rolled out the hits for a Pelton packed with craning necks.
Tucked up in the corner of the pub - with Difford half hidden by an amp - this was how it all began for the south London legends some four decades ago.
Hours before the show, Difford had tweeted that he fancied a night off in front of the telly.
Instead, the Ivor Novello-winning lyricist, who famously rhymed happen with Clapham, stood stage-right, opposite a dartboard.
Centre stage, a beardless Tilbrook looked and sounded more than ready for the road as Squeeze used the night to run through a stunning setlist.
Harmonic gem Another Nail in My Heart, from 1980 album ArgyBargy, would sound good anywhere - but this venue suited the song's pub pathos lyrics even more.
Some of Squeeze's lesser known back catalogue was sadly lost in this bustling pub.
That should not be an issue next month when the band will surely have larger, less intimate London audiences on their feet.
The tour will also see Squeeze try something new; selling recordings of their shows to fans once the curtain falls on each gig.
Three of them take place in London - at the HMV Forum, the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire and closer to home, at the IndigO2 on December 14. Just over a mile from the Pelton Arms pub.