[11] Squeeze, ‘Up The Junction’

Well, this is a right barrel of laughs; auspicious meeting, alcoholism and estranged fatherhood set to one of the catchiest tunes of the year. The ironic sing-along melody and clunky rhymes make for some rueful fun and pop scholars Tilbrook and Difford wallow in it all, throwing in forboding chords for “little kicks inside her” and dropping everything for the lad’s lonely kitchen vigil. Still, the return of the lovely organ refrain at the climax makes everything all right again.

“Within a year a walker”: Junior herself missed the window by a month, but seven-month-old little sis is looking active. This doesn’t stand out as a song to dance to, but Junior insisted on me copying a variety of steps before she took her sister’s hands for the final third. She zeroes in on the essential rhythms of these numbers, showing natural flair. We can say – with some confidence – she gets it from her mother. I just watch out for soldiers.

[20] Squeeze, ‘Cool For Cats’

Ah, 1979. I started paying attention to Top Of The Pops, Arsenal, all life’s sweetest joys. Moved to Hertfordshire in January and stayed there for 17 years (minus a dozen terms in Bristol). Pop baffled me, but that may have been down to assuming that everything Terry Wogan played was current. In that world, the Supremes were going strong and Cliff Richard was still a chart-topper. Hmmm.

Marrying new wave and pub rock, Squeeze had a boisterous appeal that worked well in the playground; to seven-year-olds a band to file alongside The Specials, The Jam and the rising Madness – stuff it was ok to like and bowl along to as if you were something else, something a stretch more streetwise than a kid with a fringe and grey shorts. If it was cool for cats, we wanted a bit of it. In essence, the single isn’t typical Squeeze, more a part within a part for Chris Difford to play, but he sounds smart and the band bounce in broad-shouldered style. The drifting middle eight’s useless though.

For all I know, Junior’s already at the age when she wants to impress her peers, and she’s got all the moves to do so. A jerky dance matched the sproinging bass and she gave an airing to this week’s trick – humming along to the tune. At the end she asked whether Junior 2 (Juniest? Minima?) liked the song now there’s scope for a blog within a blog – and then requested the next track on the Best Of. Give it a week or so, missy.