10cc | Sage Gateshead | 28 March 2017
Reviewed for The Northern Echo
In their 1970s heyday, 10cc were an exceptionally successful chart band, known for being smart, inventive and experimental. Today, the line-up may be different but at their core remains Graham Gouldman, one of Britain’s finest songwriters.
As a teenager, Gouldman wrote Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window for The Hollies, No Milk Today for Herman's Hermits, and For Your Love for The Yardbirds. His writing partnership alongside Eric Stewart, rewarded 10cc with some of their biggest hits including Wall Street Shuffle, Dreadlock Holiday and I'm Not In Love.
The band opened their Greatest Hits and More tour on Tuesday at a sold out Sage Gateshead with a perfect rendition of Wall Street Shuffle and for almost two hours, delighted an appreciative crowd with a succession of nostalgic chart hits right through to a show closing Rubber Bullets, their first number one.
Sandwiched between these two songs, were Silly Love, Art for Art’s Sake, The Dean and I, I’m Mandy, Fly Me, The Things We Do For Love, Good Morning Judge, Life Is A Minestrone and I’m Not In Love (still one of the finest love songs ever written).
Particular highlights were a bouncy Dreadlock Holiday, with the stage bathed in yellow and green light and looking very Jamaican – and which finished with the crowd pleasing line “I don’t like Gateshead, Oh no, I love her” - and Donna, performed a cappella during the encore.
Reflecting the band’s experimentalism were a handful of more obscure tracks including Old Wild Men and the still bizarre to this day, Clockwork Creep. If there’s another song written from a bomb’s point of view in its final minute before exploding on a plane, it’s passed me by.
Alongside bassist Gouldman were singer/guitarist Mick Wilson, keyboardist Keith Hayman, guitarist Rick Fenn and drummer Paul Burgess, the latter two having played with 10cc since the 70s. Musically, they were flawless and together with impeccable sound and beautiful lighting, it made for a perfect opening night for the tour.
There was even guest vocals during Somewhere in Hollywood by Kevin Godley, the band’s original drummer albeit via a video screen. The band play another sold-out show at York Barbican on 31 March and if you have tickets, you are in for a treat.
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