Monday, 28 February 2011

10cc at The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer:  Helen Jones

“Old men of rock and roll came bearing music” and boy did they rock the Lowry!   10cc have hit Salford and left it reeling in the aftermath.

Although only Graham Gouldman remains of the four known members, both lead guitarist Rick Fenn and drummer Paul Burgess have been with the band both in the studio and live since the 70s.  The other two current members, although with a shorter membership, have been there many years and this closeness shines through the whole concert.

The show opened with a half hour acoustic set on guitars alone. Gouldman and his companions performed a number of songs from his back catalogue including The Hollies (Bus Stop) and Herman's Hermits (No Milk Today), finishing with the little known gem “Love is Not For Me”,
which one he wrote for the animated film “Animalympics”.

After a break, the full 10cc sound is unleashed, opening with The Wall Street Shuffle and seguing through all the old favourites and a few lesser known ones as well.   The tracks everyone wanted to hear were there: Art For Art's Sake; Oh Donna; I'm Mandy, Fly Me; and of course
I'm Not In Love.

Having grown up through my teenage years with all these tracks, I was unsure as to how they'd come over with mainly different musicians, but I was not disappointed.  Gouldman's bass guitar  still tied the whole thing together, and the rest of the band were more than competent to
follow him. He sang some songs, but most were voiced with complete panache by Mick Wilson, sounding so much like Eric Stewart that  he was hardly missed.  In fact watching Wilson play acoustic guitar, keyboards, percussion and sing lead vocals in the same track left me
boggling at his abilities.

However some of the most spine-tingling moments came from Rick Fenn's lead guitar, which provided all those well-remembered 10cc licks and then went off into Pink Floyd-like solos which somehow fitted each track perfectly. The man made most other professional guitarists
look like amateurs.

The 10cc numbers were all hugely enjoyable, with a fullness of sound that should be impossible with only five men on stage.  The energy remained high throughout and kept the audience enthralled.

Finishing the show with Rubber Bullets and the audience on their feet, these may be 'old wild men' but they can still rock and long may they continue.

Reviewed on the 27th Feb 2011
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