Monday, 1 August 2011

Not Another Singer Songwriter part 14 - Chris Difford


I'd never been a massive Squeeze fan. they were a typical singles band and I had the greatest hits that was it. I saw Chris Difford by accident having been to a concert to see Boo Hewerdine. Chris Difford was sharing the bill and played a set that basically consisted of the Squeeze greatest hits lp. I really liked his voice and the versions he did that night , but the 3 best tracks I hadn't heard before and he announced they were from his new lp.

I Didn't Get Where I Am is full of great songs , largely acoustic arrangements and some wonderful backing vocals that balance Chris Difford's lead. A kind of reverse of the way that he used to compliment Glen Tilbrook's sweeter lead vocals in Squeeze.

Most of the songs seem to have an autobiographical element and at times you feel you are listening to an exercise in therapy by song writing. One of the best is a version of a song originally recorded by Squeeze that looks back at his childhood
Playing With Electric Trains - Chris Difford


The follow up isn't quite as good , although with Boo hewerdine as a co writer it is a still a great set. More of the songs going into short story character study mode. Subject matter is more current with trials of getting old
Reverso - Chris Difford


This theme is carried forward into the 3rd lp Cashmere if You Can, for example with this track seeing your own past in your children's future as they follow the same path as you did.

Like I did - Chris Difford

I've written before how this lp was released digitally in weekly chapters with extra tracks, photos as well as Chris writing about how each song came to be. It was great value and I hope more bands start to take this route, it is a lot more personal than being sucked into itunes

He writes a great blog (mainly around when he is touring) and you can still buy the weekly Cashmere if you Can chapters from his website here  and you can buy the rest of the lps here. I'd really recommend the debut I didn't Get Where I Am , it is a lost classic

Finally an example of his solo version of a Squeeze song

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