Glenn Tilbrook’s visit to Clitheroe next month (SATURDAY, MARCH 16) is about more than exploring the groaning archives of arguably the greatest British pop tunes ever penned.
Tilbrook co-wrote timeless tunes Cool for Cats, Up the Junction, Take Me I’m Yours and Another Nail in My Heart.
And Squeeze ruled the charts with their unflinching lyrics and streetwise commentary of life in 1970’s Britain.
Last year, however, The Squeeze singer set out on a mission to raise food poverty awareness.
Tilbrook toured the land, donating all profits from his merchandise sales, and a four-track EP, to a charity that supports a network of food banks.
“It is obscene that in the 21st Century there are people that can’t afford to put food on the table, in a country boasting the fifth biggest economy in the world,” said Tilbrook.
“And when I did it (tour) people came along to the shows with cans of food and toiletries for the foodbanks and it was humbling to witness such kindness.
“People fall through the cracks, and that could be any one of us in any of those circumstances, they find themselves in a position they didn’t anticipate, didn’t want, didn’t plan for.”
He adds: “I’m lucky, music has been my life, yet it seems so frivolous when people can’t get a square meal for their children in 2019.”
While Tilbrook is optimistic about the human spirit he is pessimistic about our politics as the turmoil of Brexit engulfs the nation.
“I’m totally bewildered, I really am,” he adds.
“We are in a time of complete unaccountability, and, generally, the politicians are untruthful.
“People have a lot of grievances because they feel that they don’t have a stake in society.
“There is a lot of anger and division, the like I’ve never witnessed here.”
England is a very different country from the London of Tilbrook’s youth when the capital, like the rest of Britain, was in the grip of strikes and economic woes.
“Life felt a lot simpler and more uncomplicated then, but this feels like the most unstable time in my life.
“And the gap between the rich and poor has never been wider, probably since the 1930s and that is unacceptable.
“Never has there been a better time to be distracted with the political upheaval we are seeing.
“In the seventies youth protested, but then they had that leisurely indolence, time to think, read and create without the overwhelming distraction of technology.
“To a certain extent that has gone now with people using their down time as screen time.”
Squeeze’s monster hit - Up the Junction - was a portrayal of working class life in Battersea, a young couple’s stormy courtship and then her partners descent into alcoholism.
Up the Junction is London slang for being in deep trouble.
“It is a gritty story and one that happened, it was real,” he said.
Tilbrook’s solo show at the Grand will naturally feature a stack of songs from the Squeeze back catalogue, but new tunes too.
“When I play with Squeeze it is a very ordered show, but when I do my solo thing at Clitheroe it is going to be a bit more anarchic and disorderly.
“I never start with a set list, so I enjoy the instinctive feel of that and so do the audience I think.”
Glenn Tilbrook will perform at the Grand Theatre, Clitheroe, on Saturday, March 16th.
Tickets: 01200 421599; www.the grandvenue.co.uk