The Official Chris Difford Website

Chris Difford Tour Poster

 

 

Being on tour is something I really enjoy these days, seeing people and being with people is part of my experience as a performer. I will be playing songs from the Squeeze catalogue which I love and co-wrote with Glenn Tilbrook, and from the solo albums I have recorded over the last 23 years. My story is told though stand up and some sit down, a trip back to my council estate in South London, from my very first lyrical expression to the dressing rooms of this show. With a few new songs written over the last four years or more with Boo Hewerdine, they tell a story of celebration and reflection. I can’t wait to climb back on stage and perform for you, although I have been shy and not very confident in the past I now find myself feasting the many dressing rooms and audiences around the UK.

On some of the shows I will be joined on stage by Melvin Duffy on guitar and together we will deliver an evening of warm and I hope funny stories. Melvin’s playing is outstanding and I feel so lucky to have him as my sideman, he cries over the songs and makes them sound always amazing.

‘Not Only…But Also’ is not just a look back on 50 lyrical years, it’s a journey that asks, What Happened? What happened to all those years and mates I grew up with before I formed a band? I hope you enjoy this new show for 2023-24.

Chris Difford Patreon Podcast

 

 

I’m excited to let you know you that over the last 12 months I have been recording podcasts with Squeeze archivist David Bailey where we discuss my solo albums from the last 20 years. It’s been revealing and engaging speaking with David about my solo work, he is incredibly knowledgeable about my music in and out of Squeeze.

I can also reveal that early in the New Year I will be making these podcasts available through the website Patreon, where a small subscription will give you exclusive access to the podcasts, live-streamed acoustic shows, and other fun stuff as well.

Please join me on this journey by signing up to my new official email newsletter below and I will send you a link to the Patreon page when we launch it, and the rest will be wonderful. See you there!

Live Shows
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Principal Ambassador of Music Minds Matters is a real honour for me as it’s a position that resonates deeply, and I thank every one who thought that I would be the right person to carry that mantle. Here is a place of refuge for the musician who struggles with the ups and creative downs of being a musician. The highs and lows are miles apart and often people find it hard to know where to turn, so this place is a safe place for all who struggle with the creative rollercoaster. The help line is invaluable and the staff behind the calls are there to listen and direct your needs to a place where you feel heard, its hard to pick up the phone but when you do there is someone there to hear your call. Along with sister charity Help Musicians I feel that everyone who needs help in our musical community can reach out and be taken within the warm embrace of like minded people. I’m so lucky to be asked to take on this role, a complete privilege. To give back is to own the experiences I have had myself down the years, my journey has been full of surprises and I have myself been to the dark places where nothing seems to make sense, I have also discovered shining light from people who have been there for me, and thats what counts. Thank you once again for the ambassadorship I will wear it well and with pride.  @musicmindsmatterofficial @helpmusicians
Saturday and Halifax in the snow, Piece Hall in the cold but warmed up by the hospitality of Tom at the venue. Bakewell Tart and custard before soundcheck, that’s a treat. Dodgy roads tonight I fear as my hotel is across the way, an hour on a clear day. One set in a Speigal Tent and that’s me. Nothing to report all the same but different. A lovely night on the stage, this time without Melvis, sadly. I did ok I think without the smile there with me. After the shows I normally race off in the car to the next place, I’m not being rude and I’m sorry if you want to say hello but sometimes its just better for me to climb into the hot seat and off we go. Last night a few drunk enthusiastic fans wanted to embrace me side of stage, I had to get off before the ice age. I was so well looked after thank you everyone backstage who made my night pass sweetly. This morning I pulled back the curtain to see thick snow on the ground, it’s Sunday now and the last show on this run, tonight Mathew Skipton high up on the Yorkshire’s. Excited for the show and to drive home tomorrow, Christmas shopping springs to mind, writing some new songs, new ideas floating around my traveling head and the view from the high trees into the coming months ahead. Skipton such a busy town buses full of shoppers holding on to the Sunday cold afternoon air, gripping. The venue, a town hall looks new and my dressing room was splendid, my fat bum welcomed even if I felt sad being on my own, my bones ache from driving but apart from that I’m a fat old fox. Skipton was lovely and very much a Sunday show, after a doze back stage I was on and then off back to my hotel in driving flurries and ice cold roads across the moors, my car handled it well I handled it well, and now bed before the long run home to snuggles and the comfy chair. My desk awaits like a tired old tiger lurking in the undergrowth of my imagination. Next musical stop is in Aldershot on the 15th have bells ready.
People are dancing with joy as the Squeeze tickets go on sale, over 30,000 in one day. How wonderful to be loved and to know better dressing rooms are on the horizon. I love the ticket sales I feel like Cliff Richard! Thursday night. Most venues care very little about the travelling musician who comes to play and rest after a long drive, dressing rooms can be completely horrible. But over time one learns to accept the things you can not change. No rider no warmth no reason to feel inspired yet I do. It’s crap. Chapel Arts Centre Bath it’s run on two shoe strings, sold out full of fun and in the centre of Christmas shopping. Tired we eat again to fill the time and the tum. To say it’s a long road would be understating the obvious, home is four days away and so is the desk. In the now though it’s here there and almost anywhere the car takes me. First set joyous such lovely people, I had only been asleep 10 minutes before the show on a fake leather sofa that maybe an elephant had just slept on. A nap the stage the truce. Set number two and more of the laughter and love, what a great night. Back in the car to our touring home Mollies Oxford, another night passes like a swift on the wing of summer, outside though its minus 2 degrees. Bath, I like Bath. Friday night. Corsham and a wonderful venue, Pound Arts Centre, great people nice food a clean dressing room helpful staff and mango juice. Cheese and pickle sandwiches were outstanding and the audience kept me on my toes. A good night but with freezing fog on the drive back to Oxford. Tick. The take away from this show was a man in the front row asked me about the 17 frets on my guitar, I asked him was he bored. A good question he asked, I had no idea my guitar was that well hung. The first day of winter and two electric heaters in my dressing room but a warm and wonderful show. Relief. @molliesmotels
Virgin radio Chris Evans early morning and fine fettle all, three songs good chat and more. Deep press and Talk Sport followed by Worcester a gig in a splendid old chapel, not full but happy with people covered in rugs, it was cold.  A Hawkwind fan back in the pews with Squeeze fan wife, light relief. It’s relentless but it’s what we do, Melvin is such great company on these tender little run of shows. The songwriter sits side of stage waiting my return, bells on pencil poised. Cheltenham Manchester London Bridge and now back at our old friend Mollies. That’s a ton of miles. Tonight’s big take away was sitting with old mate John Barnes we talked about our skinhead days and our estate, the boys the girls the washing lines. Over 50 years ago such a journey from nutcase to bookcase and back, happy times being hard yet soft as tissue on the inside. A memorable night with so many images flashing by as we talked. Bed Christopher bed. It’s one day at a time so these days that won’t come back are treasure, being doing and playing are really all part of who I am. I have my day my day has me and however I wrestle with it nothing but ambition makes it worthwhile. Thankfully I have the love and support of Louise who holds my distant hand as I travel from stage to stage. I’m very lucky. Sleep now sleep.
The Arc Winchester raked seating a lovely audience in a well run music venue stroke local library. Two sharp sets overriding nerves and gratitude. Mollies home for a few nights as we balance the books between venues, it’s a good place to stop. Stop I must. Big news, car wash day. One more week and then this puppy is gone back, so many miles under the bonnet its so scary. Onwards. The Bacon Theatre, a short stop on route to Manchester for a cosy breakfast chat about all things next year, and repeat, off stage into the car and off I go up to the distant Holiday Inn bed. My Dad had hung up his pay slip and was taking shelter on our estate watching tele when he was my age. He loved walking in the park, doing the shopping once a week and no doubt very much missing my Mother who had passed. Thats what people did,  they stopped and took in their lives while digging the garden and being in the waiting room, I see myself not stopping but slowing down in years to come, but after I reach the top of this mountain, the view should be incredible up there there are still many paths to climb, my sherpa is always by my side my life at this altitude is worth the extra emotional effort. Dad would have been proud of me anyway, he always was. Drizzle, I hate that word, bacon theatre sandwich exhausted at the foothills of a very busy week. A beautiful theatre in school grounds run by talented people, another nice night on the fret board but far from sold out. BBC breakfast next stop. @bbcbreakfast
Cardiff 200 miles from a comfy cuddle and the treasures of home, off on one again. In this picture found by Louise which I haven’t seen before are five very happy young men. Me and Melvin are happy too as we have played in Cardiff many times before it’s familiar in many ways, pizza parking and playing a few strums. But the big news of today is Squeeze and our 50th anniversary tour next year! Fabulous it feels amazing to have come this far. Next year creatives at work, ambitions to readdress and so much more. I feel like iv been found in a snow storm of ideas and treats. 50 years of here there and all over the place, yet here I sit in Cardiff playing on a half shell, gripping to the stories the chords that bring me to this tiny stage. You can find all the dates online, you can come and see us play next year on much bigger stages with some new suits new songs new underpants. It’s going to be golden. I want so much to be with my pencil I have more up my inky sleeve, more of my imagination the subconscious and the focus, it won’t be long.  Tonight however a different kind of golden, Acapela a nicely run venue with pizza and dodgy stairs up to the stage and back, it’s a tall stage to be on, a place of theatre within the walls of an old chapel. Marks and Spencer nights out, socks and suits, back in the saddle on a horse with no name. Both sets were a triumph I’m pleased to say, a standing ovation no less, yikes all this after 50 years of must try harder, thank you Cardiff. It’s just all too much.  @squeezeogram
The Egg Albany New York, I climb from my bus eyes half wide it’s early morning. I see another bus close by and a slim figure of a man sitting in the morning sun, Mars Williams the sax player from the Psychedelic Furs. We talked about coffee we talked about going to a meeting and the long tour ahead. I had no idea at the time that he was unwell. He chose the tour over sitting in a hospice waiting for the staircase to unfold on the inevitable climb up to heaven. From time to time during the tour he seemed uneasy on his feet yet once on stage he came alive and became very much a part of their show. We had many catering breakfast together talking sober shop, this part of my day was something I found inspiring. A spirit of determination and dedication to his musical self, an accomplished and well respected saxophonist. His band carried him every step of the way over 6 weeks of touring across America. I really enjoyed his company his fragile hugs his recovery and his musicianship. It’s tough enough to travel on a tour bus sometimes but Mars made the journey very special with his humour and belief in doing exactly what we wanted to do, to walk the stages and not the corridors of a hospice. I’m not sure I would be that brave or have the energy to accept the things you can not change. Mars had the courage for sure, I send my deepest respects and love to his family and the Psychedelic Furs who supported him every step of the way. I will always remember this tour as one of knowing every journey has an end, the end with a new beginning. Mars kept me on my toes while he spooned through another bowl of porridge in catering each morning that we got to share, a tender man on a musical journey to the next place. @pfurs
Theatre Seven a big building by the river Seven in pretty Shrewsbury. I thought I can’t be selling that out it’s out of my depth, we did sell it out but I think in the smaller of the two theatres. Next door School of Rock, not sold out. I spent the best part of two hours today on the phone again to O2 trying to sort my sim out, I was frustrated as could be, exhausted by the music on hold. I walked into the O2 shop where a young feller sorted it in 3 minutes, a few thumbs a fore finger and I was up and running again, the old man in me crept out, amazed. Thank you young man. Silly old billy me wasting all that valuable time trying to understand what to do with my phone. Tonight Mathew, Mathew Deighton old friend and co writer a man I love deeply, tonight he joined us for a few strums, the grey fox with his Martin guitar. Wonderful. His smile and beautiful voice poured over the stage like local honey, I must write with him more when there is time. Tonight a great show,the audience allowed us to be ourselves welcoming the songs the stories and the sound, the sound was perfect on stage, that always helps the show flow it makes me feel like I’m in a bath of chords and lyrics. I would say one of the best nights we have had, for me one of the best nights in a long while, thank you everyone who sat with the songs. Our journey home was four hours, it all and it seemed to be going well until on the M40 out of nowhere we spotted cones a single lane and a diversion that took us up the B roads of the middle night, so frustrating, a day sandwiched by madness. Often if not always at night the cones come out and we have to divert to some weird route across the country. With the warmth of the crowd sat firmly in my soul I was calm in the now and not bothered by the twists and turns, it was worth it to be home, 2am, wind rain a village asleep with the day tucked up in the gentleness of Saturday.
Rope Walk the venue under the Humber bridge where I  played many times before both with Boo and Dorie Jackson, but this time with cheese and pickle sandwiches. A day of phone issues and the hotel breakfast toaster, why do they never work, this morning it was burning everyone’s toast, the controls locked. Only the manager could speed things up, all too late for some. Hotels are places of enormous change, help yourself to fried eggs that are rock hard they look like they fell from a Seagulls arse, beans in vats, bacon curled up like those things you get in crackers. Breakfast of the kings and the queens of overnight stays. First set ripples warm and me fluffing my way down the sheet, pizza tummy cold dressing room but a nice friendly bunch. Not sure’s and what if’s going around my little clock work head, I think it’s ok I know the lines just the confidence to stretch out. Second set seemed much better and I think by the end I was more relaxed and ready for the cheese and pickle sandwiches in the dressing room. So nice to meet people after the show, again we were well looked after by the good rope walkers. Back to the hotel to feel the radiator and the heating slipping away from my hands, but it’s not too cold tonight so thats ok. Lots to digest in the moments on the pillow feeling and thinking my way though another sober day, top to tail, one thing I feel confident about is my sobriety thank God. On the other side of the next thing is the rainbow which springs from a clear pond to a deep lake of forgiveness, within my reflection I can see the eyes of ambition still reaching out from my head, touching the future with belief with a truthful swagger. Long days away from the comfy chair bring many thoughts on the roads of England, passing the time by ears on the radio, the sound of a world upside down. Many stages onwards to the conclusion of the next place, back to the lake for one reflective moment one peaceful look at my day.
Up to Sheffield for a show, the start of three in a row this weekend. SO happy to read the support I get on IG it’s very up lifting. Stopped off at the Audi garage on route, nice chaps there and onwards thinking about lyrics for the future but set in the now while Melvin drove like the way he plays the peddle steel with such grace and aptitude. Up here we were treated to pizza and chips, a winning combo, another well run venue with all the trimmings and books to read. Leaving home was tough today but now I’m here it’s time to press on. A good chum of mine with a much larger band than me says his chaps carry electric heaters around with them for their hotel rooms as like us we have discovered how tight things are, hotels save money by keeping the heating off in your room. Back from a show at midnight there is nothing like a cold bed and a room damp with the rejoice of Autumn. I often call front desk, they say the manager has gone home and its on a timer. I say where’s my jumper. Recording in the new year will be fun, I can feel that, and this album in our 50th year could well be the turning point, curve ball, that our life has been heading towards, having said that after tonight’s pizza and chips I might not make next year. Sheffield has always been a great place to play and tonight it has been. I miss writing with Paul Carrack his voice and songwriting always dip me into a huge vat of happiness and emotion. Tempted to call him. Two sets with such lovely people who kept me on my toes giving me support to try something new, to wrestle with the past by being in its present state. Melvin and I made it to the top of the show and back. The two Chris’s who run the venue were wonderful, they made our stage so calming to be on. Our hotel tonight oddly has a very warm room to cosy up with, so it’s off to bed with a very tired old head. I lit a pipe put on an LP while thumbing through the exchange and mart for new wheels. Next week and beyond more solo dates all up online all on the washing line. Two 45’s with all the trimmings.
So many doubts so many roads so many dressing room feasts. A long day stopping off in Cambridge for lunch and a walk around, Sudbury next stop, been here but last time with Boo in a freezing cold church. I’m tired so maybe I’m thinking sticking out of the box, it seems tougher than before I think I miss the team the bus the catering and the faces, I just hope that people like my little show and tell, I have doubts of profile and of mood. Being at home recently put me in my place as I looked back with gratitude at all the green shoots. A lucky boy. Home is warm and tender home is where the heart is and in many dressing rooms you can never find anything that comes close to the ease of that comfy chair. I love playing the songs I love telling tales, some of them true, I love being myself under my own umbrella of self, not shared or overshadowed. The man with arms crossed can tail spin me off in another direction I see his huff I feel his gaze and thoughtful squint across the dark seats on the front row. Is it me for a moment. After all it’s on the wire or it’s on the floor and all of the reverberations are heard from a deep place, within the distant spirit of adventure. Mostly love mostly a journey set on the grounds of a humble house full of fantastic views with gardens tendered so peacefully in my sleep by nature. Tonight Sudbury then, a dressing room feast a stage freshly painted, raked seating,  a lovely chap helping us with everything we need and another sold out bums on seats. Doubts like lobsters in a pot all snapping away trying to get out, but while they are in the pot I can retire them back into the sea when I feel confident. Meeting Melvin’s Dad was a treat tonight with his wife Cara, it brought history and cheer to the dressing room. The peddle steal such a beautiful sound played with love. On this tour it’s the Atkins Telecaster, perfectly matched with a Lazy J amplifier. Delightful. Another night lifted by the audience and one kind man who gave me a poster of Pink Floyd at Crystal Palace, if you’ve seen the show you will know how this is such an incredible gift.  @atkin_guitars @lazyjprojects
192 miles away from home in a lovely theatre close to a great fish and chip shop, Sundays best. Wells next the Sea a fishing village in Norfolk cuddled up to some wonderful countryside and the near by Thetford Forrest, such beauty even on a cold damp day like today. Songs bedding in alongside my slight lack of confidence with all things me, the songs shapes and stories. I can’t help it it’s just my recent mood one of indecision and reflection on all things past. The crossbow is pulled rigged as I fire off arrows of incomplete feelings at a bullseye too far from sight. Iv been here done that before, and hoped to have learnt how to handle these feelings. After some local cod and a plate of chips I find myself back on the raft, soundcheck show and a hotel bed. First set worked out ok even with my nerves and wrong chords, bitten off too much, nice reaction to my fragility. Melvin played the Tele beautifully as one would always expect. Set number two steamed away like a pie in the oven, a nice moment when a man walked passed me to go for a wee and came back on the first chord of a quiet song. Iv had the operation and can pee over a garden fence so i know that desperate feeling. Premier Inn tonight with a strong shake and Vac smell in the hallway, the perfect end to a Sunday on the outside of the Moon. The greatest thing about these venues we are playing is that it seems people really are all about live music, thats reaffirming for someone like me. Back in the day pubs and clubs were bristling with live music but things have changed, the circuit has been broken and there are only a handful left to enjoy, and they are all run by wonderful supportive people, last night the handmade cheese and pickle sandwiches proved that. Onwards. @wells_maltings
Back in the smaller dressing rooms tonight at the Hampton Hub, not Cockney rhyming slang. A dressing room still under construction. A nimble set with some new old ones and safe bets too, and it’s sold out with a waiting list, feel like Taylor Swift! Melvin is in top form with no steal, a twanging night on the fret board. Hours to waste sitting in a cold room on uncomfortable chairs wondering what’s going on, what is going on. Lots. Tonight the start of our autumn run of shows and it’s hard not to be in my mind back in Vegas, but without the trimmings. Cold feet and a Marks and Spencer suit, a night on the wooden stage playing our way to the next page. The only toilets are the ones for everyone in the club, so having a piss puts on a different kind of conversation with the person next to you at the troff, its a strange one, next minute your on stage and your singing songs with a guitar in your hand, not the old feller. Touring on the shoestring is always a good grounder, no flirting with fame here, just the honest John stand up and take the punches. I never ever thought I would be in Hampton playing my way through my life, I once came here to work on a boat moored on the river Thames, the studio of David Gilmore, but its no longer there, it was everything you thought it might be, every lead custom made every bit of kit amazingly looked after and the view of the Swans on the river was pretty good too. First night nerves removed in spades by a lovely friendly audience, Melvin played Telecaster and that was magical. Hampton Hub is well run and a rare music venue that covers a lot of ground, such lovely people. I came to this late and I’m  catching up, I’m learning so much about songwriting and performing, this time next year Rodney. Thank you everyone who came sang and allowed me to be fragile, no safety net of Squeeze sets here just a simple evening nailing my 50 years on the journey with much hope and faith that I did alright on the night. And yes, this time next year. Old friend Andy Driscoll passed away today he features in one of the songs, many old pals have gone by, we grew up on Combe Avenue together and dabbled in music, over 50 years ago. @hamptonhubclub
Next year Squeeze celebrate 50 years, a tour beckons and I hope new recordings too. It was through this front door that I used to walk with my ambitions and dreams, a simple house on the Combe Avenue estate. As I look at this image I search the complexity’s of my journey over the years. Mountains have moved and have been climbed on an emotional journey to here. No distractions just ambitions and a flirting nod at being in the big time, whatever I may have thought that was back then. Today my estate is very different and I’m in awe at the work that is being achieved to sow a community into the beautiful green shoots of my estate, so many great memories. In this house I first wrote my words on note pads and played guitar and it was here where I first performed my deep and distant simple songs. From that single bed performance my life was found, many, many songs and stages later here we are almost 50 years now on those bigger stages. My house was where I found minor chords and words from a slight imagination coloured by fantasy and quite observation, I was mostly just being a young lad. A teenager in good company with friends and musically I was between the washing lines. Celebrating 50 years is going to be such a reaffirming passage of time, I’m busy trying to focus on that boy who lived at number 98 a lad lost in imagination while trying to learn the guitar, and I’m still learning. Vanbrugh Park Estate built in 1963 and designed by Chamberlin Powell and Bon is an inspiration in the way it has rejuvenated itself in that I hope I can do the same for myself within the atmosphere of my writing and playing. Here at the end of a runway the sky awaits with its endless horizon with the beautiful heavens above, it’s going to be a good year. Join me in holding that thought, the rest will be geography. Please support the good work of making my estate green. change.org/p/save-the-vanbrugh-park-estate-s-front-gardens-keep-greenwich-green
‘This Is London’, by Miroslav Sasek. i woke up 69 years young just off Piccadilly in London, Ham Yard a treat if ever there was one. London and memories of days when I slept on the floor of a mates shop on Shaftesbury Avenue tripping on acid and crying with laughter crying with fear. I was young I was hopelessly lost but having a great time. A big year sits perched on the window of today’s view of my world, my tired old bones feel ever ready to take what’s coming down the track. The family tree gets fresh fruit, songs by the album new and old, touring stages and that celebration of 50 years. Predictions are cheap so I’ll keep it simple and just get a grip. Waking up in London with Louise another treat for a full English and a surprise, my daughter Grace joined us for hugs and coffee, followed by a small shop and a 3 hour drive home to presents and the warmth of our home where we bathed in the sound of FIP radio all afternoon while being in a birthday kind of head space. Texts replace cards and I had many texts which was lovely, a splendid day in the tenderness of a slow world. A cricketer hits 69 runs and thinks that century is in easy reach but first 70, without it your out, back to the pavilion for gloves off and a sober cup of tea. Luckily it’s one day and one run at a time in my very own test match. A naughty number of a birthday so I’m told by the youth of our house 69 ever so the same to me as 68, but time butterflies across  tender blue sky fluttering towards the flower on another landscape. I’m spoilt but I work hard flapping my wings across many stages I just hope I haven’t taken on too much, I will soon know, today it’s all about being there. @hamyard_hotel
Solo Album Discography
Pants
2018

Pants

Let’s Be Combe Avenue (Demos, 1972)
2017

Let’s Be Combe Avenue (Demos, 1972)

Fancy Pants
2016

Fancy Pants

Cashmere If You Can
2011

Cashmere If You Can

The Last Temptation of Chris
2008

The Last Temptation of Chris

South East Side Story
2006

South East Side Story

I Didn’t Get Where I Am
2002

I Didn’t Get Where I Am

Podcasts
Chris Difford on Patreon
exclusive for subscribers only

Chris Difford on Patreon

Podcast
I Never Thought It Would Happen
with Help Musicians

I Never Thought It Would Happen

Podcast