You're about to start a big tour of the UK. Are you looking forward to it?

Yes, absolutely. We've just finished our tour of America and the response there was off the scale in terms of tickets sales and just the way the audience has been. In fact, we've been getting so many young people coming to the shows that I can only put down to Spotify and being play listed or something like that which young people use to discover things. I know from my own kids, there's no barriers in music anymore and they just like what they like. Who thought that would happen?

The tour is also a benefit for the Trussell Trust. Is this a charity that is close to your heart?

I've been working with them now for a couple of years in my solo world. I've been amazed by the generosity of people and the strength of their views too. I just wanted to try and help and do something and that is the only thing I could think of where I could make a difference. I talked to Chris Difford about it and he was straight on board. Of course, it's ten times bigger with Squeeze being involved. We'll have someone on the road to coordinate and deliver what we collect to the local food banks.

What would you recommend that people bring along to the shows if they want to donate?

There'll be multiple drop points at all of the gigs so if people can bring tinned and dried food, non-perishables and also toiletries are needed. It's about the lack of money people have to put food on the table. It's crushing for them. These are people who are really in need and it just shouldn't be like this. It's terrible that these are needed in this day and age and it's my belief that it is for the Government to prevent uncivilised things like this from happening.

You'll be playing 29 shows over October and November, that's a pretty full schedule. You clearly thrive playing your songs live?

I'm so lucky to be able to do what I love doing. It sounds like a cliché but it's true. To be able to enjoy it and honour it and put your heart and soul into it, is what we do. We'll never sell records like we used to, that's not a thing any more but we are selling tickets like we haven't done before so we're doing something right.

You'll be playing at The Sage in Gateshead on October 19. You must have played in the North-East many times over the years. Do you remember your first visit up here?

When we first started touring I'd hardly been anywhere and I'd certainly not been up North. It was vastly different and outside of my experience but I thought it was totally wonderful. We played the City Hall many times and I have such great memories of playing there and I think the first time was with Eddie and the Hot Rods in 1978. We've also played at The Mayfair which was great. We had a ball, being 20 years old and out on tour in a place like Newcastle. We loved it.

The show is billed as The Difford and Tilbrook songbook. Is this essentially a performance of music from right across your career?

That's absolutely right. What we've done is pluck out quite a few songs that we haven't done since they came out and to look at areas of our career that we haven't really looked at before. If the reaction we got in America is anything to go by, we've got a cracking selection of songs. I'm really proud of those songs as the person who wrote those is long gone, I'm a different person now to when I originally wrote them but those songs still stand up now. They seem really fresh and new. You can't legislate for that. Either it happens or it doesn't.

You and Chris were once hailed as the heirs to Lennon and McCartney. As songwriters that's quite an accolade?

I think my head got a bit bigger and I think actually I believe our song writing suffered slightly as we got a bit full of ourselves but that stopped after about a year. That was a strange time but it was a very, very nice compliment that still gets mentioned to this day. For a comparison, thank you very much for that.

You've had some big hits over the years, Up The Junction, Cool For Cats to name just two. Do you know when you've written something that, “this is it, it's a hit” or does the quirks of the music industry and record buying public mystify you?

I thought that I knew, but I don't think I ever did. I remember thinking that Up The Junction was a hit but the Record Company were reasonably against it but went with it and it was a big hit for us. I did think Tempted would be a hit and it wasn't but I still think it'd be a hit.

Can we expect a new album anytime soon or are you focusing more on live shows at the moment?

We do have plans for writing new music but one thing that I discovered when making The Knowledge is that you have to nail your colours to the mast and there has to be a project for something as records can just disappear. Making a record as a writer is a great thing to do but it's a disappointment when people aren't really hearing it. We're at the point now where we need to be creative and where the outlet will be but there will be new music without a doubt. I think we need to do our own Bohemian Rhapsody.

Squeeze play at The Sage, Gateshead on October 19 with Heaven 17 in support.

For more on the Trussell Trust visit