'Left to twist in the wind!' Squeeze singer slams government ahead of O2 Arena's first live music event in eight months

Tap above to watch Ronke Phillips' interview with Glenn Tilbrook

London's O2 Arena is hosting its first live music event in eight months with legendary band Squeeze set to perform to socially distanced fans.

Organisers say the event is a big step forward in getting the live event industry back up and running after all venues were closed in March at the start of the Covid pandemic.

Safety and hygiene measures are being beefed up ahead of the 4,700 capacity gig on Saturday 5th December - a much smaller crowd than normal.

"I don't think it will be strange because everyone has adapted," said Squeeze lead singer and guitarist Glenn Tilbrook.

"The thing we will all experience is the joy of being able to share something so precious," he added.

The Greenwich venue has been reduced from its usual capacity of 20,000 with tickets sold in groups of twos, threes and fours. Seating has also been arranged to comply with the UK government's social distancing guidelines.

Tilbrook was critical of the way music and the arts had been treated by the government during the pandemic.

"Why are we not getting meet Rishi Sunak [Chancellor] and say to him what are you going to do?" he said.

"The government seems to not really be prepared to listen to our plight. In terms of what the arts brings into this country and emotionally what it gives we're just being left to twist in the wind - and it's not good enough," Tilbrook added.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a £1.57 billion rescue package for culture, arts and heritage organisations in Britain, including theatres, independent cinemas, museums and the live music sector.

For more information about tickets for Squeeze's gig at The O2, click here.