Archive for the ‘10cc’ Category

Graham Gouldman – Heart Full of Songs Fire Station Sunderland 07 March 2023

gouldman tixThis man is a walking jukebox! Not only did he write/co – write all of the hits of the magnificent 10CC, he also penned many of the hits, all songs I loved and still love, from the 60s. So, when I saw he was appearing at the Fire Station in Sunderland I just had to go along.

The Fire Station announced the concert thus: “It is only between 10cc’s sell-out, bi-annual UK tours that the band’s co-founder Graham Gouldman is able to fully indulge his Heart Full of Songs project and take it on tour. The semi-acoustic four-piece performs a broad spread of Graham’s song-writing catalogue, including chart hits for 10cc, the Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck and his time in Wax with Andrew Gold. The band line-up comprises Graham, 10cc live band members Iain Hornal and Keith Hayman, and Dave Cobby. When Graham formed what became Heart Full of Songs nine years ago, it was purely for the pleasure of playing his songs in their simplest form, acoustically. For lovers of perfectly-crafted music performed by the composer, a Heart Full of Songs concert is truly an exquisite experience.”

Gouldman2Graham started acoustically with one other guitarist Andy song which I didn’t know he had written: “Pamela, Pamela” which was a UK hit for the late Wayne Fontana. A simple song with a very catchy tune. Lovely. Then he started to sing a series of songs which mean so much to me and were such an important part of my youth. With each song, Graham introduced a new band member until the stage was full of a set of four excellent musicians. And so he delivered: “Heart Full of Soul” which was a hit for the Yardbirds, the late great Jeff Beck’s guitar solo still jangling around my brain; the bittersweet tale that the note in a milk bottle can bring (Graham explained his father brought him the title for the song after seeing a milk bottle with such a note one day): “No Milk Today”, a hit for Herman’s Hermits, and then moving forward to a 10CC hit “Good Morning Judge”. It doesn’t come any better than this.

640px-Graham_Gouldman_2010A few more songs in and then another classic, again inspired by a conversation with a family member about looking through windows as the bus passed by each house: “Look through Any Window” a big hit for The Hollies, one of my all-time favourite bands. Graham explained that when he was inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame there was only one song he could choose and that had to be his favourite (and mine) “Bus Stop” which he wrote, again for the Hollies. Another excellent 60s pop song. Somewhere in there he sang a big hit which, to my shame, I had forgotten: “Bridge to your heart” which he co-wrote with the late great Andrew Gold in their short lived collaboration band Wax.

Of course, he also had to sing: “I’m Not in Love” the epic 10CC song which he co-wrote with Eric Stewart. And it sounded great, even without the 1000 or so over layered voices that featured on the original single. “For Your Love” again by the Yardbirds was his first big hit and deserved to be so. Other hits followed, ending with another story “Dreadlock Holiday”.

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Setlist (maybe not in this order, however): Pamela, Pamela; Heart Full of Soul; No Milk Today; Good Morning Judge; Sunburn; Love’s Not for Me; Look Through Any Window; Daylight; Dancing Days; Bridge to Your Heart; Floating in Heaven; I’m Not in Love; That’s Love Right There; Bus Stop; Ariella; The Things We Do for Love; Standing Next to Me; Memory Lane; For Your Love; Ready to Go Home; Dreadlock Holiday.

10cc Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980

10cc Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980
10cctix78I saw 10cc on two further occasions. The first was at Newcastle City Hall on their 1978 tour. This was at the time of the “Bloody Tourists” album and the massive No. 1 single, the reggae-tinged “Dreadlock Holiday”. There was one change to the line-up with Duncan McKay (ex Cockney Rebel) replacing Tony O’Malley on keyboards. “Dreadlock Holiday” was 10cc’s last hit. In 1979 Eric Stewart was seriously injured in a car crash, which set the band back.
Stewart: “It flattened me completely. I damaged my left ear, I damaged my eye very badly. I couldn’t go near music. I couldn’t go near anything loud and I love music and motor-racing. I had to stay away from both things for a long time, for about six months. 10CC78progAnd the momentum of this big machine that we’d had rolling slowed and slowed and slowed. And on the music scene, the punk thing had come in a big way. The Sex Pistols, The Clash, lots of things like that. So by the time I was fit again to play, I think we’d just missed the bus. It’d gone. And whatever we did after that, we got a few tickles here and there and we could continue touring forever on the strength of the past hits, but it didn’t feel right again, we just didn’t have that public with us.”
10cc1980progIn 1980 10cc released their seventh studio album “Look Hear?, which reached No.35 in the UK album charts. Two singles were taken from the album: “One Two Five” and “It Doesn’t Matter at All”, but both failed to chart. I saw the band for the last time at Newcastle City Hall on their 1980 tour.
10cc continued to deliver the goods live, and I enjoyed the 1978 and 1980 concerts. But the band’s popularity was declining and they split in 1983. Gouldman puts it thus: “Really, after ’78 things went downhill for us. I don’t know what it was.”
10cctix80Typical 10cc setlist from 1980: L.A. Inflatable, The Wall Street Shuffle, One Two Five, I’m Mandy Fly Me, Lovers Anonymous, How’m I Ever Gonna Say Goodbye, Good Morning Judge, From Rochdale to Ocho Rios, Art for Art’s Sake, It Doesn’t Matter at All, The Things We Do for Love, Don’t Send We Back, Dreadlock Holiday, Feel The Benefit (Pt.1-3), I’m Not in Love, Rubber Bullets, Life Is a Minestrone, Roll Over Beethoven
Graham Gouldman currently fronts a new line-up of 10cc which also features former members Rick Fenn and Paul Burgess.

10cc Newcastle City Hall 2nd June 1977

10cc Newcastle City Hall 2nd June 1977
10cctix77Must all good things come to an end? In 1976 the perfect pop group that had been 10cc split into two halves. Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman continued with the pop band that was 10cc, while Godley and Creme went their own way as a duo to work on a project that started with promoting their new gadget the “Gizmotron”, and eventually evolved into the triple LP set Consequences (1976), an adventurous and innovative concept album. The “Gizmotron” (see image) was a device which fitted over the bridge of an electric guitar, and contained six small motor-driven wheels attached to small keys. When a key was pressed, the Gizmotron wheels produced endless sustain, allowing the guitar to sound like the string section of an orchestra.
gizmotronGodley explained: “We left because we no longer liked what Gouldman and Stewart were writing. We left because 10cc was becoming safe and predictable and we felt trapped.” Stewart saw it this way: “I was sorry to see them go. But we certainly did fall out at the time. I thought they were crazy. They were just walking away from something so big and successful….The collective dynamite of those four people, four people who could all write, who could all sing a hit song. In one band.”
10CCgrahgamWas this the end of 10cc? It was certainly difficult to imagine how they could continue with the loss of two key founding members. But continue they did, although to be truthful, things would never be the same. The band continued at first as a three piece with Stewart and Gouldman continuing to work with drummer Paul Burgess. They recorded a new album “Deceptive Bends” which reached No. 3 in the UK charts and also featured two excellent hit singles, “The Things We Do for Love” and “Good Morning Judge”. Stewart: “I was out to prove also that we could write a hit album without Kevin and Lol … we did!”
10ccDeceptiveBendsIn June 1977, 10cc set out on tour to promote “Deceptive Bends” with a new band consisting of Stewart, Gouldman, Burgess with guitarist Rick Fenn, keyboardist Tony O’Malley and additional drummer Stuart Tosh. The tour called at Newcastle City Hall for two sold out shows. The change of line-up has not diminished their popularity; indeed if anything 10cc were more popular than ever. It was a great show, with the hits and album favourites all performed faultlessly; however I felt that the new band lacked the depth and versatility of its predecessor. Support for the 1977 tour was Irish singer songwriter David McWilliams who hit the charts in the 60s with the great quirky psych-tinged classic single “Days of Pearly Spencer”. We decided to forego the delights of the City Hall bar, especially to watch McWilliams who didn’t let us down and performed “Days of Pearly Spencer” although I don’t think he used a megaphone for the chorus and hence didn’t quite recreate the sound of the original. Thanks to Mitch for the photo which he took at 10cc’s 1976 Newcastle concert.

10cc Newcastle City Hall 20th April 1976

10cc Newcastle City Hall 20th April 1976
10cctix76“I’m Not In Love” is a masterpiece. Simple as that. That song propelled 10cc from being a clever pop band to the realm of massive stardom. Built around a simple story by Eric Stewart, the arrangement and especially the choral backing which featured multiple overdubs of the voices of Stewart, Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing a single note and creating a lush 256-voice “virtual” choir, was just unlike anything else we had heard before. It was played everywhere and soon moved to the well-deserved No 1 spot in the UK single charts. Released in May 1975, “I’m Not in Love” was 10cc’s second No 1.
Eric Stewart: “I looked at Graham, and I said that song’s a hit, you know…..I rang them [the record company]..imageI said come and have a listen to what we’ve done, come and have a listen to this track. And they came up and they freaked, and they said, ‘This is a masterpiece. How much money, what do you want? What sort of a contract do you want? We’ll do anything.’ On the strength of that one song, we did a five-year deal with them for five albums and they paid us a serious amount of money.”
Next time 10cc came to Newcastle they played two nights at the City Hall. The concerts were originally scheduled to take place on the 9th and 10th February 1976, however they were rescheduled (I don’t recall why) and actually took place on 19th and 20th April. Both nights were completely sold out. I went to the second night, Chas and Dave were support.
Would they play “I’m Not In Love”? Could they recreate the sound live? Actually yes they did play it, with the help of some technical trickery (probably tapes) and pretty good it sounded too. A great gig with pure class songs; as well as “I’m Not In Love”, other live favourites were “One Night in Paris”, the wonderful “I’m Mandy Fly Me”, “The Second Sitting For The Last Supper” and of course “Rubber Bullets” which would often close the proceedings.
10ccericI saw 10cc a few months later at Knewborth, with 100,000 or so others, when they supported the Stones. There was a long delay before 10cc came on stage, apparently there were some technical problems. The sound was a bit rough for the first few songs of their set, but soon picked up. They went down well, but were a little too mainstream pop for a Stones and festival crowd. We then had an even longer wait, on a cool June night, for the Stones. happy days.
Setlist for the City Hall: Art For Arts Sake, Silly Love, Lazy Ways, Rock ‘n’ Roll Lullaby, The Worst Band In The World, Second Sitting For The Last Supper, Old Wild Men, Iceberg, Don’t Hang Up, Headroom, Ships Don’t Disappear In The Night Do They?, The Sacro Iliac, I’m Mandy Fly Me, I Wanna Rule The World, Wall Street Shuffle.
Encores: I’m Not In Love, One Night In Paris, Rubber Bullets.
Setlist at Knewborth: One Night in Paris; The Worst Band In The World; Good Morning Judge; Silly Love; Don’t Hang Up; Old Wild Men; The Wall Street Shuffle; Neanderthal Man – Run Baby Run; Ships Don’t Disappear In The Night (Do They)?; I’m Mandy Fly Me; The Second Sitting For The Last Supper; I’m Not In Love.
Encore: Rubber Bullets
Thanks to Mitch for his photo of Eric Stewart which he took at the City Hall at this concert.

10cc Newcastle City Hall 17th September 1974

10cc Newcastle City Hall 17th September 1974
10cctix74The first time I saw 10cc was at the Reading festival in 1974, followed by this concert at Newcastle City Hall. This was the original, and classic, line-up featuring Eric Stewart on guitar and vocals, Graham Gouldman on bass and vocals, Lol Creme on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Kevin Godley on drums and vocals. Additional drummer Paul Burgess was also a regular feature on their concert tours. 10cc had been in the charts a few times with singles including “Donna” and “Rubber Bullets”, which I thought were great pop songs. They had released two albums “10cc” and “Sheet Music”. They seemed to be the perfect pop band, with every clever, intricate arrangements which were sort of Brian Wilson meets Elvis meets Frank Zappa, blending Doo wop, rock’n’roll, art rock and pure pop. They were all accomplished musicians, with an excellent pedigree.
10ccflyer7410cc played the Friday night of Reading in August 1974, following Camel, and playing before headliner the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The Saturday was headlined by Traffic and Sunday by Focus. From the Reading programme: “10cc – a band of talent from old hits. Remember the Mindbenders and Groovy Kind of Love? And later, do you remember Hotlegs and a one-off bockbuster hit Neanderthal Man? Then, going back a bit, do you remember the Yardbirds’ hits For Your Love, and Heart Full of Soul, then Hollies’ successes Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window and even Herman’s Hermits’ hit No Milk Today? What may you ask is all this leading up to? Answer – 10cc [Eric Stewart was of course in the Mindbenders and Graham Gouldman wrote all those hits]…..10ccprog74a band that doesn’t rely on volume, themselves recorders of many an interesting and witty hit record…[but Godley and Creme were just as an important part of the 10cc sound and] invented a new musical instrument – the Gismo – an extension to the guitar which produces a rich orchestral sound.” The Reading set was slick, professional and we all sang along to Rubber Bullets. They were perfect for warming up the crowd for Alex.
A month or so later I saw 10cc at the City Hall, which was another great gig. Support came from Julian Brook who had released an album “Portrait”. (Note. Who on earth were Robbers Dog, as mentioned on the flyer? 🙂 )
In 1974 a 10cc setlist would be something like his: Speed Kills, Sand In My Face, Donna, Oh Effendi, Waterfall, Silly Love, Headline Hustler, The Wall Street Shuffle, Worst Band in the World, The Dean and I, Rubber Bullets.
However the best was yet to come. In May 1975 10cc released “I’m Not In Love”.
I saw 10cc a few more times over the next few years, and will write about those gigs over the days to come.

The Reading Festival 23rd – 25th August 1974

The Reading Festival 23rd – 25th August 1974
readingprog74This was my third visit to the Reading Festival; I felt I was a seasoned festival goer 🙂 . By now a large crew of local people were going to the festival, so there were lots of mates there, and we spent much of the weekend in the pubs in town, and down near the Caversham Bridge; particularly The Griffin. We would nip back to the festival site to catch the bands we wanted to see. The line-up in 1974 wasn’t particularly strong in comparison to the previous couple of years, and quite a few bands who had been advertised didn’t show (notably Eric Burdon, Ronnie Lane and Blodwyn Pig, all of whom I was looking forward to seeing). The Friday line-up was : Nutz, Johnny Mars, Hustler, Beckett, Camel, 10c, Fumble, Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
The first night of the festival saw the triumphant headlining return of the Alex Harvey band, who lived up to their name and were truly sensational. SAHB had appeared low down on the bill the previous year; there will have been many in the crowd who saw that performance, and knew how good they were. Johnny Mars and his Sunflower Blues Band gigged a lot in the early 70s; they played traditional blues; I remember seeing them at Sunderland Poly a few times; pretty good too. Fumble were a rock’roll revival band who also gigged a lot. Beckett were local North East heroes, featuring singer Terry Slesser. The SAHB setlist was something like this: Faith Healer; Midnight Moses; Can’t Get Enough; Give My Regards To Sergeant Fury; The Return of Vambo; The Man in the Jar; Money Honey; The Impossible Dream; Schools Out; Framed.
readingtrafficSaturday line-up: Jack the Lad, G T Moore and the Reggae Guitars, Trapeze, Sutherland Brothers, JSD Band, Procol Harum, Thin Lizzy, Long John Baldry, Heavy Metal Kids, Greenslade, Georgie Fame, Traffic.
Two bands stick in my mind from Saturday: Thin Lizzy who were excellent, and about to break through a year or so later, and Traffic. This was the classic Lizzy line-up featuring front-man Phil Lynott, the twin guitars of Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, and Brian Downey on drums; at the time of the Nightlife album; they were at the top of their game. Traffic were excellent. They had just released their album When the Eagle Flies, and their set at Reading featured a few songs from that album, plus some old classics. The line-up at the time was Steve Winwood (guitar, vocals, keyboards); Chris Wood (flute, sax); Jim Capaldi (drums, vocals); Rosko Gee (bass); Rebop (percussion). Stand-outs were Steve singing John Barleycorn, simple and beautiful with acoustic guitar, and Rebop’s congas and percussion throughout. I found a published setlist for Traffic, which shows they played: Empty Pages; Graveyard People; Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring; John Barleycorn; 40,000 Headmen; Love; When the Eagle Flies; Walking in the Wind; Dream Gerrard. I also have it in my mind that they performed Feelin’ Alright, but maybe that’s my memory playing tricks again. Also worthy of mention are Procol Harum (great version of Whiter Shade of Pale and a big success during the late afternoon), the late great Long John Baldry (excellent voice and a hero of mine), Heavy Metal Kids (the late Gary Holton as crazy and manic as ever), and Georgie Fame who seemed a bit out of place as part of the Saturday night line-up, but carried on the jazz and R’n’B tradition of the festival and went down pretty well.
readingtixSunday Line-up: Gary Farr, Chilli Willi and the Red Hod Peppers, Esparanto, Strider, Barclay James Harvest, Chapman & Whitney Streetwalkers, Kevin Coyne, George Melly, Winkies, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Harvey Andrews, Focus.
My main memories of the final day are of Steve Harley. Cockney Rebel had split a few months before the festival, and this one of Steve’s first appearances with his new band. They stole the show; appearing just as it was getting dark; the audience was with Steve from the start, and the performance was a triumph. Tumbling Down closed the set with a mass crowd singalong of “Oh dear, look what they’ve done to the blues, blues, blues”. It was clear that Steve was back, as cocky as ever; 1975 would bring him massive success with Make Me Smile.
I also remember watching Kevin Coyne (Marjory Razorblade), George Melly (a return after his success the previous year) and Focus who closed the show, and were also great, but seemed a little of anti-climax after Steve Harley’s performance.
DJs for the weekend were John Peel and Jerry Floyd. Oh and there were lots of cheers of “Wally”, “John Peels a c**t” (not sure how that one started), and a revolt at the prices of food in the arena, which resulted in a fish and chip van being trashed. Crazy, happy days.