Celebrating the 40th anniversary of 10cc, Graham Gouldman led the current incarnation through more than two hours of hits at Birmingham's elegant Symphony Hall. The show encompassed Gouldman's career from before 10cc when, as a much in demand song writer, he provided well known chart-toppers for the likes of The Yardbirds, The Hollies and Herman's Hermits and moved through 10cc's hit laden heyday of the 1970's and beyond. SoT staff writer Dean Pedley reports from the near sold out venue.
Taking the stage alone with acoustic guitar in hand Gouldman effectively acts as his own support act, the other members of 10cc joining him one by one as they revisit 60's gems that includes "Heart Full of Soul", "For Your Love", "No Milk Today", "Look Through Any Window" and "Pamela, Pamela" together with a couple of new songs from his upcoming solo album. Gouldman offers the stories behind the 60's chart toppers and credits his father as being the inspiration for a number of the titles and the songs origins. He remains the sole remaining founder member of the original 10cc but the current line-up does include two long-time auxiliary members in guitarist Rick Fenn and drummer Paul Burgess together with Mike Stevens (keyboards) and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Mick Wilson. The other three originals have long since departed but Gouldman often mentions them between songs and offers full credit for their contributions.
Naturally the show takes in all of the hits including the satirical "Wall Street Shuffle", sing-a-long "Things We Do For Love" and exquisite "I'm Mandy (Fly Me)" but also delves into album tracks such as the lengthy "Feel The Benefit" that highlights the individual talents of the current musicians. Wilson covers many of the lead vocals and does a fine job in recreating the original style of "Art For Art's Sake", "Life Is A Minestrone" , "The Dean And I" and "Donna", the song that launched 10cc back in 1972. He may have more the look of a librarian as opposed to rock star but Gouldman's trademark driving bass does the job in holding the band tightly together. The mellow sounding and yet energetic set moves towards a close with the rapturously received "I'm Not In Love" that is followed by the quirky "Dreadlock Holiday", both of which provided huge hits first time around and remain much loved to this day. The flurry of "Rubber Bullets" ends what is an extraordinary display of consummate professionalism as the 10cc of 2012 continues to prove itself to be a class act.
Reviewed by Dean Pedley