MUSIC fans in Bournemouth packed the Pavilion on a cold Monday night to see Squeeze, but were spoilt with the added bonus of 1980’s synth pop band Heaven 17 opening the evening’s entertainment.

Martin Ware and Glen Gregory, both from the original line up, delivered a polished set of Heaven 17 hits showcasing songs such as Crushed By the Wheels of Industry and (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang, a tribute to the Human League in the shape of their cover of You’ve Lost that Lovin Feelin and of course the ever impressive Temptation.

It must be a difficult but privileged task to choose from a “list of songs as long as your arm” from the past 45 years to squeeze (no pun intended) into a couple of hours, however after a video introduction to the band members, Squeeze kicked off the Bournemouth leg of the The Difford and Tilbrook Songbook Tour 2019 with Footprints.

A couple of songs into the set and they wheeled out some big, big tunes and hit us with Hourglass, Pulling muscles (from the shell) and Up the junction. This just goes to show the depth of their catalogue and quality of material they have to choose from.

The show continues with Mumbo Jumbo and one of my personal favourites Cradle to the Grave before delivering a few older tunes leading to Please be upstanding from the album Knowledge.

It has been two years since their last appearance in Bournemouth and the appreciative crowd were once again wowed by the now seven-piece band which has remained pretty constant for the past few years with the most recent addition of Melvin Duffy majoring on slide guitar. I know they do this for a living and perform together most nights but they deliver their craft in a fresh “we are loving this as much as you” manner which is joy to watch.

The final quarter of the set got the audience to their feet to jig along to more greats such as Tempted and Cool for Cats and ended with Annie get your gun. The obligatory encore, where I felt they turned up the volume one notch too many, was a resounding rendition of Take Me I’m Yours followed by Black Coffee in Bed during which each musician got to take well deserved applause with a solo.

You know it’s been a good night when you leave the theatre with a plethora of melodies spinning around in your head and reliving your favourite bits on the journey home.