Graham Gouldman on the 'Ultimate' 10CC tour

In typical style and with a hint of self-mocking, art pop and rock legends 10cc have announced a major city tour for spring 2024 with the title The Ultimate Ultimate Greatest Hits Tour, following on from their sell-out Ultimate Greatest Hits tour of 2022.
Graham Gouldman with 10CC. Picture: Nick OliverGraham Gouldman with 10CC. Picture: Nick Oliver
Graham Gouldman with 10CC. Picture: Nick Oliver

The announcement comes as the band reach the end of a five-week tour across Australia and New Zealand, with rave reviews – the longest tour they have done in the region.

The UK tour which began in Bristol and comprises 18 concerts, including a return to London’s 5,200-seat Royal Albert Hall on March 25.

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As an Arts Desk review in the Daily Telegraph confirmed last year said: “Note perfect! 10cc’s songbook, full of fun and love and rage, remains blessedly the same”, while the Daily Mail’s Richard Littlejohn said, “If you want the best of British popular music, beg, steal or borrow a ticket. You won’t see a better show all year.”

Meanwhile in Australia, the band’s concerts have attracted review comments such as, “the tunes are a delicious sonic challenge, the playing is virtuosic”.

Leading the touring band, Graham Gouldman, the only one of the four founding members still performing, says: “In our formative years, it was all about the songs and it’s the same for us now. We play them with love and energy, hit after hit after hit … we show no mercy.”

Having sold over 15 million albums in the UK alone, 10cc have 11 Top 10 hits to their name, including three chart-topping singles – Rubber Bullets, Dreadlock Holiday and the ubiquitous I’m Not In Love – along with Donna (No 2), Art For Art’s Sake and Good Morning Judge (both reaching 5), The Things We Do For Love and I’m Mandy Fly Me (6), and The Wall Street Shuffle (10).

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The band comprises Gouldman on bass guitars, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals; Rick Fenn – lead guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; Paul Burgess – drums, percussion, keyboards (both of whom have been part f the band’s touring line-up since the seventies); Keith Hayman – keyboards, electric guitar, bass guitar, vocals and Iain Hornal – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion, mandolin, keyboards and vocals.

Graham Gouldman. Picture: Graham C Reinout BosGraham Gouldman. Picture: Graham C Reinout Bos
Graham Gouldman. Picture: Graham C Reinout Bos

Even though the band makes performing look easy, Gouldman says that there are a few places in the show that are a little stressful.

“The Dean and I is quite complex, especially the backing vocals. But it’s a joy to do,” he says.

“Also,” he continues, “it’s challenging doing the acapella version of Donna. There are some very odd key changes in that one, and there’s one particular spot where we all say a little prayer.”

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Musical virtuosity and many memories will be the order of the day when 10cc take to the stage, and they will be bringing their Ultimate Ultimate Greatest Hits tour to Sheffield City Hall on March 16.