A personal account by Mark Wardle

Mark Wardle from Sussex has sent us a very enthusiastic review of one of Graham's shows at Ronnie Scotts in May 2000.

Unfortunately I didnít "discover" 10cc until 1989, many years after their heyday and split in Ď83. Since then Iíve had the experience of seeing a favourite band reform, make new records, and tour. Therefore my only live experience with 10cc was with the classic hits tour of 1993.

With the band on indefinite hold, it is down to Mr. Gouldman, always writing songs and, luckily for us, making sporadic and brilliant live appearances. This year is no exception, with his first proper solo album for over 30 years and a week of gigs at Ronnie Scottís for the third year running. Once again he did not disappoint!

In the band this year were Rick Fenn, Mick Wilson, Spike Edney and Paul Burgess (no less!) who still looked about 27!!

Once the house band finished its set just after nine it was time for the main man to enter the arena! They launched firstly into a rocking version of The Wall Street Shuffle and then straight into The Things We Do For Love. Graham gave a brief hello and introduced Bridge To Your Heart which, like last year, was a funked up version, this time with some lyrics a different way around than I remember them to be in! Well, I know how many times Iíve heard it!!

Without further ado we were treated to a great rendition of Iím Mandy, Fly Me with some cool guitar work from the band. Then it was time for what I suspect is one of Grahamís personal favourites, For Your Love. Their version totally rocked, blowing the cobwebs off the Yardbirds recording and really got the slightly quiet audience going.

Just as we were expecting another oldie, Graham introduced a NEW song, the excellent Walking With Angels, a beautiful mid paced ballad that will surely be the highlight of his forthcoming album, and make a great single? The track was co-written with Gordon Kennedy, who also co-wrote Change The World with Eric Clapton. A faithful version of From Rochdale to Ocho Rios followed and then the electrifying Art for Artís Sake to close the rather brief first half.

Eventually, AN HOUR LATER, the band reappeared, all with new shirts! Another one of Grahamís oldies Heart Full of Soul opened the second half before reaching back into 10cc territory with Good Morning Judge. Another Gouldman personal favourite Bus Stop followed before Mick Wilson took the mike and, as last year, performed a storming version of the Clapton song mentioned earlier Change the World. Graham stepped up to the mike and said "Now weíre gonna do a song.......well, of course weíre gonna do a song"!! And it was another NEW song! Written in Nashville, with Gary Perth, Dancing Days is a mid tempo very Nashville type song and very good it is too! It had already been the BEST night for me - surely it couldnít get better? Oh yeah? Little did we know that Graham would preview another NEW song! Written with the ever reliable Andrew Gold, Can Anybody See You is a stomping pop song in the finest Wax tradition - classy chord changes and catchy moments a plenty - a hit for sure!

For the finale, it was 10cc classics all the way.....

Iím Not in Love started us off and Graham fluffed the words and stopped the band. Slightly embarrassed he restarted the song a moment later. Of ALL the songs to get wrong ...

Then, the two best performances of the night as we had Dreadlock Holiday - who wasnít clapping or tapping along to this? The band then left the stage, we all roared Ďmoreí for what seemed like ages before they came back on and delivered the killer punch - Rubber Bullets in the most catchy, foot stomping way. We were dancing in the aisles! Of course - we wanted more - a couple more days non stop please - with back to back Gouldman and 10cc hits! Alas, even heroes need their sleep!

It was soooooo cool to see Graham and the band enjoying themselves so much, and still playing really well. Plus, the Gouldmanmeister can still write a good song! The highlight of the evening was meeting Graham again. Iíd previously met him in Cardiff in í93 and found him to be the most chatty, friendly down to earth bloke ever! I approached him with a copy of Ten out of Ten which Iíd already got Rick Fenn and Paul Burgess to sign, and he duly signed it for me too. Iím currently looking forward to the album and hope that heíll tour again next year!

Mark Wardle is a DJ in the UK.

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