Snake Davis and Chris Difford to play Hackness

Hackness Music Live may be a relatively small venture but it is attracting some big names.

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The latest are saxophonist Snake Davis (19 Oct) and Squeeze co-founder Chris Difford (16 Nov), who will play at Hackness Grange Hotel.

Snake put the icing on the cake for Take That’s A Million Love Songs, M People’s Search For the Hero and many other hits.

In Hackness, he will be flanked by singer Helen Watson, who has collaborated with some of the best musicians in the business, including Albert Lee, Little Feat, the Eagles’ Bernie Leadon and Andy Fairweather Low; and double bassist Dave Bowie Jr, who plays with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

Together, the trio are Burden of Paradise, who live in “a world of tenderness, virtuosity and human frailty”, according to promoter Diane Todd. They play “jazz for people who don’t like jazz, but also for those who do”.

As a member of one of the UK’s best-loved bands, Chris Difford has made a lasting contribution to the nation’s music with hits such as Cool For Cats, Up the Junction, Labelled With Love, Hourglass and Tempted.

Difford and Glenn Tilbrook recently wrote two new Squeeze albums. The first, based on the life of Danny Baker, was the soundtrack for a BBC2 production called Cradle to Grave, starring Peter Kay. All original music, it became the first Squeeze record in 15 years. The most recent Squeeze album, The Knowledge, was released to rave reviews in 2017.

Over the course of a 14-album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the beginning that Difford had few equals when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. He learned to stand on his own when he wrote the lyrics for the fictional band Strange Fruit in the 1998 British comedy film Still Crazy, winning his first Ivor Novello award. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy.

Difford has written with Jools Holland, Paul Carrack and Elton John.

Chris to the Mill, a box set of his three studio albums, came out last year, followed by the album Fancy Pants, written with Boo Hewerdine.

Difford published his autobiography, Some Fantastic Place, which he toured around bookshops and small theatres.

He has invited local singer-songwriter Phil Hooley to open the Hackness show. The two met earlier in the year at one of Difford’s songwriter workshops. Phil will be accompanied by the multi-talented Dave Kemp.

The music starts at 8pm.

Tickets for both shows cost £12 and can be booked by ringing 882421 or emailing hacknessmusiclive@gmail.com.