10cc Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980
I saw 10cc on two further occasions. The first was at Newcastle City Hall on their 1978 tour. This was at the time of the “Bloody Tourists” album and the massive No. 1 single, the reggae-tinged “Dreadlock Holiday”. There was one change to the line-up with Duncan McKay (ex Cockney Rebel) replacing Tony O’Malley on keyboards. “Dreadlock Holiday” was 10cc’s last hit. In 1979 Eric Stewart was seriously injured in a car crash, which set the band back.
Stewart: “It flattened me completely. I damaged my left ear, I damaged my eye very badly. I couldn’t go near music. I couldn’t go near anything loud and I love music and motor-racing. I had to stay away from both things for a long time, for about six months. And the momentum of this big machine that we’d had rolling slowed and slowed and slowed. And on the music scene, the punk thing had come in a big way. The Sex Pistols, The Clash, lots of things like that. So by the time I was fit again to play, I think we’d just missed the bus. It’d gone. And whatever we did after that, we got a few tickles here and there and we could continue touring forever on the strength of the past hits, but it didn’t feel right again, we just didn’t have that public with us.”
In 1980 10cc released their seventh studio album “Look Hear?, which reached No.35 in the UK album charts. Two singles were taken from the album: “One Two Five” and “It Doesn’t Matter at All”, but both failed to chart. I saw the band for the last time at Newcastle City Hall on their 1980 tour.
10cc continued to deliver the goods live, and I enjoyed the 1978 and 1980 concerts. But the band’s popularity was declining and they split in 1983. Gouldman puts it thus: “Really, after ’78 things went downhill for us. I don’t know what it was.”
Typical 10cc setlist from 1980: L.A. Inflatable, The Wall Street Shuffle, One Two Five, I’m Mandy Fly Me, Lovers Anonymous, How’m I Ever Gonna Say Goodbye, Good Morning Judge, From Rochdale to Ocho Rios, Art for Art’s Sake, It Doesn’t Matter at All, The Things We Do for Love, Don’t Send We Back, Dreadlock Holiday, Feel The Benefit (Pt.1-3), I’m Not in Love, Rubber Bullets, Life Is a Minestrone, Roll Over Beethoven
Graham Gouldman currently fronts a new line-up of 10cc which also features former members Rick Fenn and Paul Burgess.
Archive for the ‘10cc’ Category
10cc Newcastle City Hall 1978 & 1980
10cc Newcastle City Hall 2nd June 1977
Must all good things come to an end? In 1976 the perfect pop group that had been 10cc split into two halves. Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman continued with the pop band that was 10cc, while Godley and Creme went their own way as a duo to work on a project that started with promoting their new gadget the “Gizmotron”, and eventually evolved into the triple LP set Consequences (1976), an adventurous and innovative concept album. The “Gizmotron” (see image) was a device which fitted over the bridge of an electric guitar, and contained six small motor-driven wheels attached to small keys. When a key was pressed, the Gizmotron wheels produced endless sustain, allowing the guitar to sound like the string section of an orchestra.
Godley explained: “We left because we no longer liked what Gouldman and Stewart were writing. We left because 10cc was becoming safe and predictable and we felt trapped.” Stewart saw it this way: “I was sorry to see them go. But we certainly did fall out at the time. I thought they were crazy. They were just walking away from something so big and successful….The collective dynamite of those four people, four people who could all write, who could all sing a hit song. In one band.”
Was this the end of 10cc? It was certainly difficult to imagine how they could continue with the loss of two key founding members. But continue they did, although to be truthful, things would never be the same. The band continued at first as a three piece with Stewart and Gouldman continuing to work with drummer Paul Burgess. They recorded a new album “Deceptive Bends” which reached No. 3 in the UK charts and also featured two excellent hit singles, “The Things We Do for Love” and “Good Morning Judge”. Stewart: “I was out to prove also that we could write a hit album without Kevin and Lol … we did!”
In June 1977, 10cc set out on tour to promote “Deceptive Bends” with a new band consisting of Stewart, Gouldman, Burgess with guitarist Rick Fenn, keyboardist Tony O’Malley and additional drummer Stuart Tosh. The tour called at Newcastle City Hall for two sold out shows. The change of line-up has not diminished their popularity; indeed if anything 10cc were more popular than ever. It was a great show, with the hits and album favourites all performed faultlessly; however I felt that the new band lacked the depth and versatility of its predecessor. Support for the 1977 tour was Irish singer songwriter David McWilliams who hit the charts in the 60s with the great quirky psych-tinged classic single “Days of Pearly Spencer”. We decided to forego the delights of the City Hall bar, especially to watch McWilliams who didn’t let us down and performed “Days of Pearly Spencer” although I don’t think he used a megaphone for the chorus and hence didn’t quite recreate the sound of the original. Thanks to Mitch for the photo which he took at 10cc’s 1976 Newcastle concert.
10cc Newcastle City Hall 20th April 1976
“I’m Not In Love” is a masterpiece. Simple as that. That song propelled 10cc from being a clever pop band to the realm of massive stardom. Built around a simple story by Eric Stewart, the arrangement and especially the choral backing which featured multiple overdubs of the voices of Stewart, Gouldman, Godley and Creme singing a single note and creating a lush 256-voice “virtual” choir, was just unlike anything else we had heard before. It was played everywhere and soon moved to the well-deserved No 1 spot in the UK single charts. Released in May 1975, “I’m Not in Love” was 10cc’s second No 1.
Eric Stewart: “I looked at Graham, and I said that song’s a hit, you know…..I rang them [the record company]..I said come and have a listen to what we’ve done, come and have a listen to this track. And they came up and they freaked, and they said, ‘This is a masterpiece. How much money, what do you want? What sort of a contract do you want? We’ll do anything.’ On the strength of that one song, we did a five-year deal with them for five albums and they paid us a serious amount of money.”
Next time 10cc came to Newcastle they played two nights at the City Hall. The concerts were originally scheduled to take place on the 9th and 10th February 1976, however they were rescheduled (I don’t recall why) and actually took place on 19th and 20th April. Both nights were completely sold out. I went to the second night, Chas and Dave were support.
Would they play “I’m Not In Love”? Could they recreate the sound live? Actually yes they did play it, with the help of some technical trickery (probably tapes) and pretty good it sounded too. A great gig with pure class songs; as well as “I’m Not In Love”, other live favourites were “One Night in Paris”, the wonderful “I’m Mandy Fly Me”, “The Second Sitting For The Last Supper” and of course “Rubber Bullets” which would often close the proceedings.
I saw 10cc a few months later at Knewborth, with 100,000 or so others, when they supported the Stones. There was a long delay before 10cc came on stage, apparently there were some technical problems. The sound was a bit rough for the first few songs of their set, but soon picked up. They went down well, but were a little too mainstream pop for a Stones and festival crowd. We then had an even longer wait, on a cool June night, for the Stones. happy days.
Setlist for the City Hall: Art For Arts Sake, Silly Love, Lazy Ways, Rock ‘n’ Roll Lullaby, The Worst Band In The World, Second Sitting For The Last Supper, Old Wild Men, Iceberg, Don’t Hang Up, Headroom, Ships Don’t Disappear In The Night Do They?, The Sacro Iliac, I’m Mandy Fly Me, I Wanna Rule The World, Wall Street Shuffle.
Encores: I’m Not In Love, One Night In Paris, Rubber Bullets.
Setlist at Knewborth: One Night in Paris; The Worst Band In The World; Good Morning Judge; Silly Love; Don’t Hang Up; Old Wild Men; The Wall Street Shuffle; Neanderthal Man – Run Baby Run; Ships Don’t Disappear In The Night (Do They)?; I’m Mandy Fly Me; The Second Sitting For The Last Supper; I’m Not In Love.
Encore: Rubber Bullets
Thanks to Mitch for his photo of Eric Stewart which he took at the City Hall at this concert.
10cc Newcastle City Hall 17th September 1974
The first time I saw 10cc was at the Reading festival in 1974, followed by this concert at Newcastle City Hall. This was the original, and classic, line-up featuring Eric Stewart on guitar and vocals, Graham Gouldman on bass and vocals, Lol Creme on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Kevin Godley on drums and vocals. Additional drummer Paul Burgess was also a regular feature on their concert tours. 10cc had been in the charts a few times with singles including “Donna” and “Rubber Bullets”, which I thought were great pop songs. They had released two albums “10cc” and “Sheet Music”. They seemed to be the perfect pop band, with every clever, intricate arrangements which were sort of Brian Wilson meets Elvis meets Frank Zappa, blending Doo wop, rock’n’roll, art rock and pure pop. They were all accomplished musicians, with an excellent pedigree.
10cc played the Friday night of Reading in August 1974, following Camel, and playing before headliner the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. The Saturday was headlined by Traffic and Sunday by Focus. From the Reading programme: “10cc – a band of talent from old hits. Remember the Mindbenders and Groovy Kind of Love? And later, do you remember Hotlegs and a one-off bockbuster hit Neanderthal Man? Then, going back a bit, do you remember the Yardbirds’ hits For Your Love, and Heart Full of Soul, then Hollies’ successes Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window and even Herman’s Hermits’ hit No Milk Today? What may you ask is all this leading up to? Answer – 10cc [Eric Stewart was of course in the Mindbenders and Graham Gouldman wrote all those hits]…..a band that doesn’t rely on volume, themselves recorders of many an interesting and witty hit record…[but Godley and Creme were just as an important part of the 10cc sound and] invented a new musical instrument – the Gismo – an extension to the guitar which produces a rich orchestral sound.” The Reading set was slick, professional and we all sang along to Rubber Bullets. They were perfect for warming up the crowd for Alex.
A month or so later I saw 10cc at the City Hall, which was another great gig. Support came from Julian Brook who had released an album “Portrait”. (Note. Who on earth were Robbers Dog, as mentioned on the flyer? 🙂 )
In 1974 a 10cc setlist would be something like his: Speed Kills, Sand In My Face, Donna, Oh Effendi, Waterfall, Silly Love, Headline Hustler, The Wall Street Shuffle, Worst Band in the World, The Dean and I, Rubber Bullets.
However the best was yet to come. In May 1975 10cc released “I’m Not In Love”.
I saw 10cc a few more times over the next few years, and will write about those gigs over the days to come.