While on the subject of angels, of beings coming to us with bountiful gifts of beauty in sound and in verse, I came across such angels just last week. A friend of mine asked if I would like to go and see 10CC in concert. I thought it would be fun, although I must admit, I haven’t really paid all that much attention to 10CC over the years. I love such songs as, ‘Donna’, ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, ‘The Wall Street Shuffle’, ‘Rubber Bullets’ and seriously, who hasn’t shed a tear to ‘I’m Not in Love’?
It was a beautiful day in Gothenburg and thankfully the little rain we had during the afternoon was just enough to cool the evening off. The concert was at the Restaurang Trädgår’n (Garden Restaurant), which in itself is a beautiful place. It’s not a huge venue, not like Scandinavium, which holds thousands of people. It’s much more personal at Restaurang Trädgår’n.
We were lucky to get tickets, just managed to buy the last ones. This meant we couldn’t have seating spaces, although standing above, only a matter of feet away from the angels who sang so beautifully below us, we couldn’t have been happier looking down from the spacious balcony. I don’t really see the point of sitting down at a concert anyway. An amazing rhythm won’t allow me to sit and stay still for very long.
The lights dimmed; a single spotlight on center stage and then, the great Graham Gouldman entered from the far left. He seated himself and introduced himself. Now I knew I would recognise many of the songs that have pushed 10CC toward fame, although I had no idea that Graham Gouldman had written so many songs that other great bands had recorded. The man is a genius.
From 1965 he wrote a string of million-selling hit songs: including ‘For Your Love’, ‘Heart Full of Soul’ and ‘Evil Hearted You’ for the Yardbirds. He also wrote ‘Bus Stop’ and ‘Look through Any Window’ for The Hollies, ‘No Milk Today’ and ‘Listen People’ for Herman’s Hermits, ‘Pamela, Pamela’ for Wayne Fontana, and ‘Tallyman’ for Jeff Beck.
I remember hearing No Milk Today many years ago; remember exactly where I was and who I was with. I remember falling in love with the simple lyrics and catchy tune and you have to remember, it was pretty close to a ‘Golden Oldie’ even when I first heard it. I had no idea though that it was Graham Gouldman who had written it all those years before. That night though, standing on the balcony at Restaurang Trädgår’n, I found myself falling in love with the song all over again.
One at a time the other members of 10CC took their rightful places on the stage, a different song with each member before all five were in place. And then the magic began.
I found myself falling in love with the band, falling in love with the sheer talent on that stage. Graham Gouldman is sixty-seven years old, although he sure knows how to rock the joint. Of course, he’s not 10CC; he’s just a member of a fantastic band that has been rocking the world the past forty years. And okay, so the current member lineup is far from the original lineup. After forty years though, what would one expect?
The current lineup is: Graham Gouldman (bass and vocals), Paul Burgess (drums), Rick Fenn (guitar and vocals), Mike Stevens (keyboards and vocals) and Mick Wilson (percussion and vocals). Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman and Lol Creme were the original band members. Kevin Godley and Lol Crème went on to create Godley and Crème while Eric Stewart went his own way.
If you have listened to the song, Donna you will understand just how fantastic Lol Crème’s voice is. I don’t think many men can reach that pitch without problems. So, of course I was curious as to whether Mick Wilson would match up to the original voice. Trust me, it did… and then some.
In fact, at the end of the show they came together to sing an a cappella of Donna. There is only one four words to explain the song: Out of this world!
There are angels among us, make no doubt. Some bring joy through great works of art, through the silver screen or literary works. Bands like 10CC create music that lifts the soul and fills the heart.
If you ever get the opportunity to see 10CC in concert, I would highly recommend you do so. It certainly isn’t an evening I will forget in a hurry.
Until next time with more Sweet Conclusions
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