In fact a friend of mine went so far as to say that the 10cc of today are a bit of a tribute band. I disagree. Yes, Graham Gouldman is the only surviving member of that ‘classic’ line up, but drummer Paul Burgess has been touring with 10cc since 1973 and both he and guitarist, Rick Fenn, actually played on some of those later classic 10cc hit singles, including ‘Dreadlock Holiday’.
So perhaps it comes as no surprise to find that this version of 10cc can still deliver the goods live and in great style too. From the opening number, ‘Wall Street Shuffle’, to the final encore of ‘Rubber Bullets’, the ninety minute set was a parade of hits. All those 10cc songs that the audience obviously knew and loved were played, with only a couple of lesser known album tracks thrown in for good measure.
One of those, the epic ‘Feel the Benefit’, really showed the quality of the band, who were superb throughout, often switching instruments and vocal duties to great effect.
All songs were faithfully reproduced, something not easy to do back when they were originally written and recorded. This was especially apparent on ‘I’m Not in Love’, one of the highlights of the evening.
There was even room for a couple of songs Graham Gouldman wrote with the late Andrew Gold, the poignant ‘Ready To Go Home’ and ‘Building a Bridge to Your Heart’, a hit single for their band Wax back in 1987. It’s one of those songs that you thought you’d forgotten, but as soon as it starts, you find yourself singing along.
The hits just kept on coming, right up until the final song of the main set and the band’s last number one single ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, which even got some fans dancing in the aisles.
As an encore 10cc treated us to an acapella version of their first hit single ‘Donna’, which was performed in the style of a barbershop quartet and very effectively too.
A rocking rendition of ‘Rubber Bullets’ rounded off the evening, getting the whole crowd on its feet and sending them home with a spring in their step.
Graham Gouldman said towards the end of the gig that he thought this was the bands first ever visit to Hastings. In fact, 10cc played on Hastings Pier back in 1973 and talking afterwards to the promoter of that historic gig, he told me that 10cc finished with ‘Rubber Bullets’ on that occasion too. I bet they never thought they’d still be playing that same song, to great effect and to such an appreciative audience, 41 years later.
Altering the final words of ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ the band sang, “I don’t like Hastings, I love it”. I think it’s safe to say that Hastings loved 10cc right back.
PS: You can find an interview I did recently with Graham Gouldman of 10cc here: http://www.thestinger.org.uk/article/540af85449eec34b1d583102#.VFOdGvmsUrU