Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook steered the latest incarnation of Squeeze through a strong set in Brighton.

The band, supplemented on some numbers by brass, tried to showcase songs from their new album The Knowledge, which was released today, and also highlighted fine material from their many albums. But at times the band faced the age-old problem of groups that had their biggest hits many moons ago; the audience seemed to be eager for the old favourites. And however clever and observant the new songs are, well-loved museum pieces like Cool for Cats and Up the Junction were the ones that got the crowd both moving and singing.

It was a slow start with even the riffy Annie Get Your Gun failing to get as much as a wiggle of a backside on a seat. It seemed there were plenty who were happy to sit back and admire the supreme songwriting craftsmanship that once provoked comparisons with Lennon and McCartney.

There was a sporadic outbreak of dancing near the stalls and then a few numbers later the most unlikely song got most of downstairs up on their feet. The fairly gently paced but delightful Goodbye Girl was the instigator and the band never really back after that. The slightly exotic Take Me I’m Yours was probably the best treatment of a song all evening, while the wistfully lilting Labelled with Love is as good a song as Eleanor Rigby in its observation of loneliness and the audience willingly became a choir.

Black Coffee In Bed sounded like the great tune it always has been, infused with punchy brass, and Slap and Tickle got extended treatment. A brief word too for powerful support act Nine Below Zero, who delivered a brassy, bluesy and soulful set that was a real bonus.