The Official Chris Difford Website

Tiny Ships

As i look through the many photographs on my computer i can see that there is so much to say about the journey, the band, the songs. It’s completely nuts to think that ‘Cool for Cats’ came out almost 40 years ago and here i still am. Singing those lines, like i must work harder lines after school. Sing on. I feel so excited about this year and the UK tour for Squeeze that is up and running. The good news is that there is a US tour to announce very soon too, once all the dates are placed together on the page. This means we get to play and sing the songs from our back catalogue, and there are many, most of which i love. It will be a challenge to learn all the chords but with the band in the room it should be not only intense but i hope fun. Fun is all we really need at our age, angst and glory are not for me. I see pictures of him and me, younger, on a stage playing songs we learnt to cut our teeth with. Pictures of guitars i no longer have in my collection. Snaps of the family out on tour, as we have evolved we have included our kids with the crew. Pictures of Jools and myself larking about, drummers looking angry and ambitious, looking fine. I see a story unfold that has its mystery’s as well as its moments of joy. The one common thing about all of the pictures is the songs.

Our songs through the years have evolved and perhaps become more about our journey than the people we are, they are bold and often nieve, but mostly ours in the making. Songs from the early period scream out to me from a jacket that no longer fits and hangs in my lock up, the newer songs hang about right, from ‘Play’ onwards. ‘Play’ was such a great record, full of growing and honesty, the passion in the recording is sad and emotional and often i find it tough to listen to. ‘Difford and Tilbrook’, an album of two sides, both sides now. Genius by separation. The happiness of ‘East Side Story’ and the loss of ‘Domino’, how lucky am i to have experienced these moments in my life. When i was a young lad smoking fags and writing songs i had no idea that i would be 64 years old in a cottage set in the East Sussex wonderment wearing a moth eaten cardigan. To look back is to own the past with both eyes and with a heart laden with forgiveness for the things i may have done that have disabled friendships along the way. Im not a bad chap though, i have my floors like us all, more floors than Harrods maybe, but i can cope with the climb, up and the climb down. Our songs are so complete and on the tours ahead i will most lightly stand legs akimbo roasting the presence of ownership and love. I hope. Curve balls not included.

What an incredible journey through images this really is, i feel moved and sad that i never made more of the person i became, it became too complicated and like two tress, or more, in a wood, they all reach for the light to grow and in doing so entangle themselves with each other causing branches to twist and obscure. Together over time the struggle for light brings the wood closer together yet father apart, the roots are the only connection that dictate that place of being. Boy was i chubby in some of these pictures and far gone too, like some zombie on a mission to be Chris Difford of Squeeze. I never say that now. James Cordon told me how to introduce myself, simply, Chris Difford. There we are both of us in the time framed by pictures, like the ones at an exhibition by ‘The Nice’. I wanted to be him that wizard, Keith Emerson, only a lack of keyboard skills stopped me. How grumpy was i. Such a long journey too, yet it’s gone so fast and before we know it, the ground. How it waits. By now i should understand better how to hold the moment in my hand a be at one with it all, but honestly, im not sure. Incredible.

I see pictures of places and stages that have held me aloft and seen me in many relationships down the way, but none as wonderful as the one im in now, the Louise of my life really has given me the love and the focus to be who i am and to understand that as a team we are heading out into the heavens as one. I see photographs of people not around anymore, some lost to the twist of fate and time, some not around and have moved on. Managers with happy faces and backstages with reflections and uncomfortable chairs. It’s six months away until we stride out into the unknown of our songs, a place i have been many times, but with a collective hum the noise should be great. I can’t wait to see the people who come to our shows, all shapes and sizes all faces and wears. Its with them that i have this amazing symphony with, one we all bathe in once the stick hits the snare. As i look through the pictures i see so many tiny people, we have grown, age pins the face across a sheet of digital behaviour and tells me all i need to know. Age is graceful like the ageing of a tree. Grey and green, the movement of tomorrow and the love we have to make by being in the moment of our songs, which is exciting even if there is the challenge of not knowing how the fish will fry. This was my first computer, it was stupid but it was the future, it was the bone soaring through space. This was as intelligent as i could get without dreaming. And now, im fully loaded and i have so many pictures on my computer that i really don’t need any more space of a bigger hard drive. I have a cloud, and i wonder lonely as sometimes and that a great place too. All i need is these memories to help me sail upon the pond with the other tiny ships.