10cc's Graham Gouldman
- 9 Oct Manchester RNCM
It has been an eventful few years for Graham Gouldman. Not only is 10cc enjoying increasing success around the world, but recognition of his solo achievements has grown too. Being invited by Ringo Starr to join his All Starr Band for tours of Europe in June 2018 and the USA that September, during which the band played three 10cc songs, elevated his profile yet further. Another event, although not publicly known, gave Graham a further lift. It happened backstage at a festival when Robert Plant thanked him for writing one of the songs that got him through the audition to join Led Zeppelin. The song was For Your Love. Graham’s status as one of the world’s leading songwriters was acknowledged in 2014 with his induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – an arm of America’s National Academy of Music. Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Leonard Cohen and Sting. That was followed in 2015 by Broadcast Music Incorporated in the US anointed him an Icon of the Industry at a special ceremony in London, where he stunned the audience with an acoustic rendition of I’m Not In Love, accompanied by Lisa Stansfield on vocals. When Graham formed what became Heart Full of Songs six years ago, it was purely for the pleasure of playing his songs in their simplest form, acoustically. The format became so popular that the acoustic four-piece undertook its first concert tour in April-May 2013. The band now tours across Belgium, Germany, Holland and the UK and comprises Graham, Ciaran Jeremiah, Dave Cobby and either Iain Hornal, Nick Kendal or Andy Park, depending on their various commitments. For lovers of perfectly-crafted music performed by the composer, a Heart Full of Songs concert is truly an exquisite experience. The next tour is set for March-April 2020 in the UK, following the release of Graham’s fifth solo album in early 2020, .
Back to how it all began … Born on 10 May 1946 in Manchester, Graham was given his first guitar at the age of 11 and started playing with local bands at 15. He received early encouragement to develop his musical talent from his mother Betty and father Hymie, who also contributed with suggested lyrics and song titles. Graham played with various Manchester bands before forming The Mockingbirds in 1965 (with Kevin Godley on drums), and when the record label Columbia rejected Graham’s first single composition for the band, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The song, For Your Love, became a huge hit for The Yardbirds. Working by day in a men's outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, Graham went on to write a string of hits, such as Pamela, Pamela for Wayne Fontana, For Your Love, Evil Hearted You and Heart Full of Soul (The Yardbirds), Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (The Hollies), No Milk Today and Listen People (Herman's Hermits), and Tallyman for Jeff Beck. In 1972, along with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, he formed 10cc and enjoyed a string of Top 10 hits, including three No 1s - Rubber Bullets, I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday – along with Donna (No 2), Art For Art’s Sake and Good Morning Judge (both reaching No 5), The Things We Do For Love and I’m Mandy Fly Me (6), and The Wall Street Shuffle (10). It’s the enduring popularity of these tracks and Graham’s love of playing songs acoustically, that led to the formation of Heart Full of Songs, which features many of these songs, Bridge To Your Heart (from Graham’s time in Wax with the late Andrew Gold) and other compositions including film sound tracks and material from his acclaimed solo albums Animalympics, And Another Thing, Love And Work and Play Nicely And Share,.