10CC at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange
“We’re our own opening act,” explains Graham. “There wasn’t an opening act, so we thought we’d open for ourselves playing an acoustic set of some of the songs we’ve written for other bands.”
GREAT under-appreciated songwriters are a pretty common thing in the music industry.
Bob Gaudio from the Four Seasons, Colin Moulding from nu-wave group XTC; even George Harrison, to a degree, has fallen into this category in the past.
But in any list of unsung musical heroes, you’re likely to find 10cc’s Graham Gouldman.
Yes, in their own right 10cc are one of Britain’s finest art rock groups.
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Churning out ironic genre-hopping pop hits one minute (Dreadlock Holiday, Life is a Minestrone), creating ground-breaking masterpieces the next (I’m Not In Love), the band are rightly recognised as one of music’s great innovators.
But there’s far more to 10cc than just their hits. There’s all the other bands’ hits as well.
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It was Graham who wrote For Your Love by the Yardbirds, Bus Stop by The Hollies and No Milk Today by Herman’s Hermits, to name but three.
And audience members at the Alban Arena on April 1 will get a chance to hear some of the band’s greatest tracks they never performed, as part of their latest tour.
“We’re our own opening act,” explains Graham. “There wasn’t an opening act, so we thought we’d open for ourselves playing an acoustic set of some of the songs we’ve written for other bands.
“It’s a really nice thing to do. It involves all of the band and at the end we walk off and say to the audience ‘see you in a bit’.”
Such is Graham’s prolificacy, you could easily perform a full gig of well-known tunes – and a plenty of less well-known ones – without even touching 10cc’s back catalogue.
His consistency can, perhaps, be partly attributed to his time as a songwriter for hire in the 60s, when he worked, unhappily, for a pair of bubblegum pop producers in New York.
Guitarist Graham doesn’t like to talk about it, but admits it was this period in the late 60s that ultimately led to the formation of 10cc, who first topped the UK charts with Rubber Bullets in 1973.
“It was an ill wind,” he says. “It’s funny how one thing leads to another.
“It’s because I was unhappy in that situation and I didn’t want to be there anymore. I wanted to go home.”
Go home he did, and promptly formed the group that would go on to have a string of hit singles and albums, many of which Graham confirms will be getting an airing during 10cc’s latest tour.
After more than 40 years in the business, Graham still relishes the live experience.
“If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t do it,” he says.