The Official Chris Difford Website

Risk it for a Biscuit

To be in tour is to be oneself. It was a massive task for my agent to dodge around the country and find shows for me with Boo during November and December, and then the miles pilled on. More and more road miles but then its worth it. Each show seemed to get better and better, and some of them i had to play without Boo as he was with his other woman, Eddie. Without the safety net it worked as well, but being with Boo does bring some kind of Terry and June like qualities. For not very much money we weaved our way up and down the country taking in Scotland and the great Dundee. Two sold out shows which had me so moved with the love in the room. Thank you. Other big nights were spent in Penzance and closer to home Guildford, where next door but in the same building The Osmonds. I managed to sell as many tickets as they did, albeit in what normally doubles as the catering room on most Squeeze tours. G Live is a nice place to play, and on my own i held my own, despite the crazy horses next door.

During the tour i turned 64, the usual feelings, the grey feelings that escort me around the room. Getting older does not bother me much, as long as i have my health. Yes i snore and have trouble peeing at night, but thats all part of the show. I have my hair and it’s all mine. Yes i sigh when i get up from a chair, and yes i eat too much, but what else can you do. I have never been Seb Coe or in anyway an athlete. After this tour and another 4,500 miles i feel bent double, and my back is in pain, walking helps. The car has taken me and wedged my being into a shape. Bend me shape me anyway you want me. Boo takes the train. Sometimes he travels with me, we talk and look out the window. He does his crossword. I drive. We play and people like what we do, it feels like a joint effort. Another highlight on the tour was when we played at Butlins Holiday Camp as part of the Madness weekend. The hall was filled with very tired fans, who mostly sat at tables around the sides and back. A few filled the space in front of the stage. They had been there all weekend and looked a little worse for wear. We did our set and with some extra verbals we seemed to win everyone over, it was such a great show. I loved it and felt very proud. I was so nervous, North Londons finest and then me, South Londons fattest. It worked. The next night i had to hold the fort in Henley to a very different crowd, sat at tables and all very eager to hear me sing and play, my story telling seemed to fall a little flat. I think it was the pudding and the pink corduroys.

A few months of touring and thats the end of another year, this year saw me play 204 shows, last year 2018 197. Only a few shows this year with Squeeze though, the summer festivals and warm ups. Suddenly we announce a new tour for 2019. It goes up on sale and within two weeks its over 40% sold. It’s nuts, and without a new album or without any press. The Difford and Tilbrook songbook tour will im sure prove its weight in gold, as we wade through some of the chord charts in the bottom drawer of our life. Each song makes me proud however good or indifferent. Hits and ones the fans will like will get a roasting in the rehearsal room sometime next July. I guess there will be new suits and some wonderful lights, some new images to beam above our heads and backing tracks to hang on to. It’s all to be decided. Thats the joy of it, you never know until you do. The cherry on top is that Squeeze will tour both in the UK and in the US, which already looks fruitful. As i get older it gets harder to hang on to the feelings you think you have for the things that you do, you just do them. I feel so lucky to weave between this show and the next, on my own i never seem to be bored. More solo dates for 19 as well, a short jaunt in May.

Cometh the new year and there are songs to write and then there is the constant investigation into musical theatre which gets tougher and tougher to realise. There is another book on the desk top, two to be precise. Im very excited about this, all i need is a publisher to hold my hand. My ever floating dream is to record the Jazz record i began 15 years ago, but who would buy it and how much would it cost. The fact is that today recording new songs hoping for air play is tougher than ever. 40 years ago it was all so wonderful different but as times change so must we. The last Squeeze album cost more than the one before but without a TV show to hang it on, it hit the curb. Great as it was, it made no money and had very little air play. And thats sad as it sounded so great. Live it went down well, maybe thats where we find ourselves. So to train my purse on a new album would be a mighty risk. Without the risk though where would we be.

Why do we record. I once collected records and went to HMV in Oxford Street to find music that would make me who iam today. I took risks and often bought things i had no idea about, but ending up loving. Today HMV has closed its doors. The industry has become one click. Today i take the same risks but on Tidal, my chosen platform for music. its free and i don’t have to take a number 53 bus to get to the sweet spots. I like to record records to show people that i can sing, and there is the sweet spot, because i seldom get a chance on Squeeze records. The Jazz album would cure my urge to be heard, good bad or off key. I don’t care. ‘Fancy Pants’ proved i could sing my songs, and i took that as far as i could. Today all i seem to listen to is Jazz music, its soft and often thought provoking, its aperture is wider than that of the modern pop song. It lets in more light. It takes more risks, and as time ticks away risks are worth taking. So as another year calls time, i hope to delve into all of the above like i do every passing year with hope and happiness. Who knows whats around the corner in this very ardent time, its all gone a little crazy, the ego has landed and the touchdown was heard loud and clear.

To rap up the busy year just before Christmas i went to get my Visa for America and then to the theatre with my lovely Louise, and its here where i find my craving. ‘Company’ by Stephen Sondheim blew me away, as ever i was churning up. I want to be there in my heart but i know it’s going to be hard, just like the Jazz dream, it’s going to be a mission, but one worth taking. Thanks to all of my readers for the love and emails i get in support of what i do, it keeps me warm inside. Thats it, gone is 18 and cometh the 19th which is one click away. Risk it for a biscuit they say. It’s time to put your foot up and let the imagination back into the soul, time to reflect let the light in and see what happens. Something always will.