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Concerts10cc @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham UK 02/16/2015

Posted on Wednesday, February 18 2015 @ 13:08:10 CST by Dean Pedley
Progressive Rock Still going strong some forty-odd years since they started out, Graham Gouldman remains the sole remaining founder member of the original 10cc but the current line-up does include guitarist Rick Fenn and drummer Paul Burgess, who have both been part of the touring incarnation since the 70's. This latest run of dates around the UK marked the fortieth anniversary of Sheet Music with a performance of the album in its entirety making up the first half of the show.

An album named by Gouldman as the bands best, Sheet Music kicks off with 'The Wall Street Shuffle' and, as is the norm for shows at Symphony Hall, the sound levels are spot on allowing the music to be enjoyed just as it should be. Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Eric Stewart may be long since departed each of the three is often mentioned in anecdotes from the stage as Gouldman recalls the recording and writing of the record back in May 1974. Godley does make an appearance however, appearing in newly filmed video footage on the rear screen to lend his voice to 'Somewhere in Hollywood'.

Too inventive and sophisticated to be considered pop and with far too many hit singles to be deemed prog, 10cc found themselves tagged as "art rockers" during their chart topping heyday. Whatever the label they provided some of the soundtrack moments of the 70's, many of which are dusted off on what was a night of unashamed nostalgia; nothing from the set dating after 1978's Bloody Tourists. Musically and vocally they still hit the heights with luscious four part harmony vocals, exquisite guitar solos and smooth changes of tempo being par for the course. In Mick Wilson, Gouldman has found a vocalist that can reproduce the falsetto of both Stewart and Creme, ensuring faithful renditions of 'The Things We Do for Love', 'Art for Art's Sake' (with a superb opening salvo from Fenn) and 'I'm Not in Love', a song still guaranteed to melt the coldest of hearts. Mini suites 'I'm Mandy Fly Me' and 'Feel the Benefit' are performed with a tight knit precision and the knockabout reggae of 'Dreadlock Holiday' included the almost certainly never before heard line "I don't like Birmingham I love it!"

The encore saw 50's doo wop pastiche 'Donna' delivered barber shop quartet style with stunning clarity before they departed in a flurry of 'Rubber Bullets'. A band that still commands much love and respect for their legacy, the wit and wisdom of 10cc remains in safe hands.

Set List:-
The Wall Street Shuffle
The Worst Band in the World
Old Wild Men
Clockwork Creep
Silly Love
Somewhere in Hollywood
Baron Samedi
The Sacro-Iliac
Oh Effendi

The Things We Do for Love
Good Morning Judge
I'm Mandy Fly Me
Art for Art's Sake
The Dean and I
Feel the Benefit
Life is a Minestrone
I'm Not in Love
Dreadlock Holiday
Donna (Accapella Version)
Rubber Bullets

Review by Dean Pedley
Images by Rich Ward of Classic Rock Photography

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