40 I Didn't Get Where I am by Chris Difford 2008
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. Chris hasn't the strongest voice in the world but this is compensated by the fact that the production is spot on and was a tad surprised to learn produced by an ex member of It Bites!
The opening track , a simple tale of a broken relationship, shows off the what a good job both Francis Dunnery did on production and Dorrie Jacksons great vocals
Tightrope - Chris Difford
A number of the songs deal with his at the time conflicted feelings about Squeeze
The track that gets me every time is Lamas Fayre, all about childhood and the family holidays that Chris Difford took with his parents and brothers. The music sways like the tide of the sea and there is always the sudden realisation that although the location , memories and details are different ,the lyrics and sentiment pull on my own memories of long car journeys and beach holidays with mum, dad and sister. No matter how many times I hear this song this realisation emotionally hits me afresh every time.
My father my mother my bothers and me
So young and simple in my memory
The version of the lp is a lush affair laden with harmonies, here is a live version - a bit tinny and there is rather too much focus on the slide show but listen to the lyrics and if you have ever sat in a car on a rainy summer's day drinking lemonade and eating crisps then let the song take you back
The lp closes with Parents built around a lovely simple piano refrain and with the killer "Life's too short to mess about with anything but love"
Again for most people probably a nice enough lp but nothing more , however for some reason this one touches me with every track .. a mid life musical crisis
You can buy I didn't get here