Immortalised as one of Britain’s most influential bands, Squeeze are now using their legendary status to generate support for a good cause.
Through the power of music, Glenn Tilbrook and Squeeze aim to raise awareness and money for The Trussell Trust, a charity which aids those in poverty by giving them access to a reliable food bank network.
After watching a documentary depicting the struggle of the daily lives of those in the UK who are suffering with living in poverty, Tilbrook took it upon himself to inform himself about the issues which are all too common in our society, and what can be done to help those in need. Through the power of music, he aims to aid those in need by raising profits and awareness towards the causes which lay close to his heart.
I watched a programme on iPlayer about food banks, and it really stayed with me. The grinding desperation of people who don’t have enough food to put on the table for their kids
“I watched a programme on iPlayer about food banks, and it really stayed with me. The grinding desperation of people who don’t have enough food to put on the table for their kids. Anyone can end up in that situation and I’m ashamed that in 2019 our politicians can’t come up with a better solution.”
While Squeeze were preparing to perform for the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show nearly three years ago, Tilbrook changed the lyrics of the hit single from the Band’s 15th album ‘Cradle To The Grave’ in order to portray his own struggles of growing up in South London. The lyrics were performed as “I grew up in council housing, part of what made Britain great. There are some here who are hell-bent, on the destruction of the welfare state.”
Unbeknown to Tilbrook, his wishes for the reality of real people’s lives to be heard by politicians did not fall on deaf ears, as former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was listening in while travelling on the coach.
Squeeze are no strangers to producing politically charged and challenging records, songs from ‘The Knowledge’ released in 2017 deliver a poignant call towards the country’s welfare ministers to bring change for the benefit of the ordinary working people and country. “I think the politics of songs like Labelled With Love and Up The Junction were more personal, but coming from a similar place. Honestly, Up The Junction could be a Trussell Trust story”
During performances from the legendary band, event goers will be able to donate non-perishable foods and other essential items at all venues, including Brighton, where they’ll be collected by our local food bank.
“I just wanted to help The Trussell Trust and what they do with coordinating collections and distribution. It’s just a very practical solution to a heart-breaking problem.”
WHAT IS THE TRUSSELL TRUST?
An anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust has a growing network containing over 420 food banks around Great Britain. In 2017-2018, 1,332,952 three day emergency food supplies were provided to people referred to food banks in The Trussell Trust’s network, a 13% increase on the previous year.
Upon trying new things and experimenting on the road for this tour, entitled ‘The Difford and Tilbrook Songbook’, a limited solo acoustic EP featuring a more personal side of Glenn Tilbrook which will connect with truly dedicated fans will also be sold during his own tour dates. “I wanted it to be really stripped back, and just me singing and playing because I’ve never really done that before.”
When talking about what you can expect during the tour, Glenn says that there are a few surprises in store. “We’ve had something of a renaissance in the last few years, and look forward to this continuing, as we will play a set of songs that are both new, contemporary and as innovative as people have come to expect from us, along with the old beauties.”
Though food banks provide an invaluable service to those who rely on them to survive, a lot more can and should be done to aid those in need; while also needing to search for a longer term problem for the larger problem of poverty at hand.
I think there’s a demonization of poor people that’s been going on too long, where they somehow seem as spongers if they don’t have enough money
Tilbrook says that he really noticed the prejudice against poor people during his upbringing, and that the current social and political climate is reigniting that negativity. “I think there’s a demonization of poor people that’s been going on too long, where they somehow seem as spongers if they don’t have enough money. I grew up in council housing and my parents can remember when being poor was an awful stigma. You had no help from the government, and we seem to be gradually wending our way back to that position.”
Glenn Tilbrook seems to be the type of guy who wants to make the world a better place. Realising the power music can have from the very beginnings of Squeeze, Glenn has incorporated messages of politics and support, and delivered them to a loyal audience that slots him into a legendary category. His passion to bring about change in his home country makes the meaning behind his works just so much more powerful.