Gig review

Chris Difford

(part of T on the Fringe)
This year’s eclectic T On The Fringe line-up is certainly providing something for everyone. From the hip, young current crop of pretenders we have Kasabian, Plan B and Sandi Thom to look forward to, but last night at Cabaret Voltaire it was the forty-somethings who were letting their hair down as ex-Squeeze member Chris Difford delivered a highly engaging hour long set.

Delving into a back catalogue that certainly rivals any other British songwriting team, Difford hit the ground running with stripped down acoustic versions of ‘Pulling Mussels From A Shell’, ‘Up The Junction’ and ‘Goodbye Girl’. He regaled the enthusiastic crowd with between-song stories ranging from the joys of combining caravans and curry, to his idea of resurrecting Top Of The Pops and broadcasting it from his front room.

The hits, though, just kept on coming. ‘Tempted’, ‘Labelled With Love’, ‘Nail In My Heart’ were all delivered with passion, but it was the stunning version of ‘Coffee In Bed’, with loud and hearty crowd participation, that really caught the imagination.

The Tilbrook vocal was delivered by the delightful Dorie Jackson, a solo artist in her own right, and the airing of her song ‘Loving You Tonight’ proved we should keep an eye out for her forthcoming album.

The highly entertaining evening was complete with a shakey version of crowd-pleaser ‘Cool For Cats’, comically rescued with a mid-song story about Quincy Jones and a disabled toilet. Maybe you had to be there. I’m just glad I was.

Alex Lawrie