It's margheritas in Manhattan for Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze

On the road
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The Independent Online
It's time to dip gingerly into the waters of an American tour again. A short one, mind, as A&M records in the States had said that if they were going to release Ridiculous it wouldn't be until January. Then, a couple of days before we leave, the news arrives that they are going to pass on the record altogether. The spin doctors of my mind interpret this news in two contrasting ways: one says "The game's up, matey" (I'm sure that one's familiar to musicians of a certain age and uncertain sales), and the other one says "Sod 'em". Of course, you can't fake confidence, so it felt good when the second opinion crushed the first.

I spent weeks before we left on our first trip to America in a state of perpetual excitement. This time I felt very calm and urbane about the whole thing, until the moment on the drive from JFK airport when Manhattan loomed over the horizon and I thought: 'Yes! Lots of fun to be had here, if previous experience is anything to go by.'

The first gig is a private party for People magazine in a place called the Webster Hall, formerly the old Ritz Club. The cover story of the latest issue was about the best parties of the year, so this was modestly billed as the party of the year. You probably know the sort of thing - 150 caterers providing 12 different types of cuisine, endless themed drinks and a lot of people who looked like they'd taken most of the day to get ready.

Although we were jet-lagged and knackered, when we played the adrenalin kicked in and all was right in our pop combo. Any musician who says that what they do is hard has either lost contact with the real world or is a liar. After the show Chris and I chatted and had our pictures taken with various folks before going back to the dressing room to see Nikki, an old friend from south London who's been here for 15 years and runs Tea & Sympathy, an English tea shop that caters to a mixture of locals and ex-pats in search of comfort food. One of the latter, a Wall Street chap who'd made lots of dosh and was now skedaddling back to Blighty, was having a farewell party at a place that Sean assured me does the best margheritas in town. We could all go along. They said we had a couple of hours until our bus was due to leave on a lovely nine-hour overnighter to Vermont. I was polite but firm in my refusal. Nevertheless, within half an hour, we are guzzling margheritas surrounded by a load of bankers.

n Squeeze play Bristol Colston Hall tomorrow (0117 9223686); Ilford Island (0181-514 4400) Sun; Shepherd's Bush Empire, London W12 (0181-740 7474) Mon and Tues

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