Squeeze Bass Players: Harri Kakoulli, John Bentley, Keith Wilkinson

“Never chew a pickle, with a little slap and tickle, you have to throw the stone, to get the pool to ripple…”

This Deptford, London collective was the perfect platform to purvey the songwriting genius of Messrs. Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook who were, to my ears, the heirs apparent to Lennon/McCartney. Squeeze’s various line-ups also boasted the profound plinkery of legendary British TV presenter Jools Holland and singer-songwriter – recording artist Paul Carrack, who has waxed a commendable canon on his own.  

And if that wasn’t enough to pique your New Wave pop palette, the band’s MTV videos and live performances were as engaging as their peer ensembles led by Joe Jackson, Graham Parker, and Elvis Costello. The three main bassists who served within the Squeeze ranks were Harri Kakoulli (1976-80), John Bentley (1980-83, 2007 – present) and Keith Wilkinson (1985 -97).

Each player was exemplary in their role – which was to support the writers’ matchless canon by rendering captivating harmonic extensions, and tastefully executed pops, slaps and tickles, and glissandos on the fretted and fretless bass.  

The 1980s was a golden age for the electric bass in a pop context, and the all players in Squeeze distinguished themselves among the finest of their era as evidenced on every release under the Squeeze banner and their highly recommended compilation The Squeeze Story (2006).