Glenn Tilbrook & The Fluffers - Manchester Academy 3 - 27.11.04

Still touring after all these years Glenn Tilbrook is back on the road with his band The Fluffers at the intimate Academy 3. His new album "Transatlantic Ping Pong" has received some excellent reviews and with this in mind the former Squeeze frontman mixes his new songs with old favourites.

From the new album "Asian Tea" is a track overflowing with melody, guitar hooks and glorious lyrics proving that Glenn's songwriting talent is as prolific as always. "Pulling Muscles From A Shell" and "Tempted", two Squeeze classics are a welcome blast from the past, still sounding fresh and invigorating.

When his band mates leave the stage Glen performs a few songs acoustically and even forgets some of the words to "This Summer" because he's recently remastered some vintage demos and changed the arrangement and as a result got mixed up. When the fans sang a few lines, Glenn composed himself, found his place and carried on like the seasoned professional he is.

After a short break Glenn and The Fluffers walk into the audience and play some classic hits like "Coffee In Bed" and "Hourglass". The crowd react a little over enthusiastically singing along at the wrong time to different lyrics in a boozy harmless way. Glenn doesn't mind although a look of relief is noticeable when he and The Fluffers reconvene on the stage for "Up The Junction".

The fans enjoy the new material, but it's the songs of Squeeze they've come to hear and not one audience member is disappointed. As a group of musicians the Fluffers are perfectly suited for Glen Tilbrook, with charisma and personality a big factor in the whole of the performance.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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