By Nick Parkhouse
TUCKED in between the end of glam rock and the beginning of the punk era was a band that remains one of Britain’s finest exponents of pop music. 10cc may not have the worldwide fame and regard as the likes of contemporaries Queen and David Bowie, but 15 million album sales in the UK as well as three number one hits mean they have a solid place in British pop’s hall of fame.
These days Graham Gouldman is the only one of the original quartet that remains although drummer Paul Burgess and guitarist Rick Fenn have been with the band since the 1970s.
From the opening bars of Wall Street Shuffle, the audience at the Royal Concert Hall was reminded of the rich, lush vocal harmonies that characterised much of 10cc’s work. Gouldman was in excellent voice whilst a nod should also go to Mick Wilson, who did a terrific job of replicating Eric Stewart’s distinctive vocals.
10cc are one of those bands that even if you weren’t a fan at the time, you still know far more of their songs than you think you do. Solid gold classics like Dreadlock Holiday, Rubber Bullets, Donna, Good Morning Judge and Life Is A Minestrone were met with eager applause whilst even album tracks such as Old Wild Men and Feel the Benefit were received warmly.
Highlights included a note perfect rendition of the hauntingly brilliant I’m Not In Love, the majestic I’m Mandy, Fly Me – Seventies MOR’s answer to Bohemian Rhapsody – and the excellent The Things We Do For Love. And, by the time a lovely rendition of the Beatles’ Across the Universe and a rocking version of Rubber Bullets had ended, everyone was on their feet.
The enthusiastic crowd didn’t like this gig. Oh no. They loved it.