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On Tuesday night at around 11.30pm, I arrived back home, sat down in front of my computer and ordered four albums I’d last bought over three decades ago.
So you could say that 10CC’s concert at the Gateshead Sage that evening had quite an effect on me.
10CC were probably my first “favourite” band. The first album I remember buying was Nazareth’s Razamanaz but 10CC were the first band I can recall having more than one of their records.
On my 14th birthday, I received the recently released How Dare You and a few days later, with some of the money I’d been given, I went out and bought its predecessor The Original Soundrack.
Then a couple of years down the line, I followed up with Deceptive Bends and 12 months later, Bloody Tourists.
But like so many of their fans, I stopped there. 10CC lived on beyond the seventies but it was a very different existence with none of their subsequent albums having anything like the same success as the quarrtet I’ve just mentioned.
10CC’s success was squashed into a seven or eight year period in the seventies yet they were very definitely NOT a Seventies band.
They certainly weren’t glam and in many respects their music, combining melodic pop and soft rock with arty progressivism was ahead of its time.
They survived the departures of Lol Creme and Kevin Godley with Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart defying the doom-merchants by writing some of the band’s finest music in the following two years.
But for whatever reason, they lived in the shadows during the 80s and despite the four briefly re-uniting in the 90s, they never hinted at rediscovering former glories.
I never went off 10CC and indeed in CD format, I have a Best Of album, the live release Live And Let Live and Sheet Music, which preceded The Original Soundtrack.
But the four vinyl records I played so regularly in my teenage years have been gathering dust in my loft for years _ and perhaps they will continue to do so now that I’ve ordered the CDs.
These days, Gouldman alone carries the 10CC torch although band members Rick Fenn and Paul Burgess have been with him since the mid-70s.
And while I am normally cynical of lone band members playing under the original banner name, Tuesday night’s epic performance felt like 10CC if not in their pomp then certainly in rude health on their 40th anniversary tour.
Perhaps songs such as Good Morning Judge and Life Is a Minestrone did miss Stewart’s distinctive voice but multi-instrumentalist Mick Wilson handles Creme’s parts wonderfully well and the musicianship of the band is as imrpessive now as in 10CCs heyday.
Gouldman, of course, is one of the UK’s finest-ever songwriters. He played a short acoustic set featuring songs such as For Your Love, Bus Stop and No Milk Today which he wrote for The Yardbirds, The Hollies and Herman’s Hermits respectively.
But it was 10CC’s weird and wonderful music, lyrically adventurous, harmonious and clever which reminded every member of the audience why we fell in love with them so long ago.
I don’t think I’ll have been alone in re-introducing myself to their back catalogue.