10cc's Oz 'dreadlock holiday'
THE musical versatility of 10cc has ensured the English rock band's songs sound just as fresh today as they did four decades ago.
The live band, helmed by co-founder Graham Gouldman, returns to our shores this month after last touring Australia three years ago.
"If you want us to come back, we'll come back,” says Gouldman over the phone from his home in London.
"Our guitarist Rick (Fenn) lives in Byron Bay, so he won't have much of a journey to make.”
The band's hit songs continue to be used in films and TV shows, with I'm Not in Love featuring on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack as just one example, drawing new fans to the shows.
"It's really gratifying we get a lot of younger people, who have suddenly discovered 10cc through whatever medium, coming along,” Gouldman says.
"Some of the bands the younger people like don't play live at all; they rely on streams.
"If I was a young guy who played the guitar, I'd want to see a band that's playing live. It's so different to know this is happening now.
"It's like going to the theatre as opposed to going to the movies.”
Gouldman credits the enduring popularity of songs such as his reggae-inspired track Dreadlock Holiday, the falsetto-heavy Donna, the Beach Boys-esque Rubber Bullets and classic rock hit The Wall Street Shuffle - all vastly different songs stylistically - to the band's unique way of writing and recording.
Each member was a multi-instrumentalist and they all took turns singing lead vocals and playing lead guitar.
"We were different from a lot of bands in that the main principle was whoever was best for the job got the job. That's why you got so many different lead vocals on different records,” Gouldman says.
"In a way, it made it harder for people to go 'oh yeah that's 10cc'. If you heard Queen, it was always Freddie Mercury's voice.
"That may have worked against us but we didn't really care about that. We just did what we thought was right.
"The song was king and you served the song.”
While Gouldman is excited by newer artists such as Alt-J and Ben Howard, he laments the fact that rock has taken a back seat to other music genres.
"I don't want to generalise because there's always great music around,” he says.
"But I wish there was more music like we were making in the '70s. It would be great if another Genesis or Police came along.
"When I was a teenager, to buy a new album was a major event. You had to save up and go to the record store. There was always a lot of discussion around it...
"People listen to music in a different way now; because it's convenient, it loses its value.”
Fans can expect to hear all of 10cc's biggest hits, as well as some lesser-known tracks from the back catalogue, during this year's tour.
"There are certain songs we absolutely must do that people expect,” Gouldman says.
"You'll get all the hits, but we also like to do various album tracks as well.”
Who: English rock band 10cc
When: Saturday, April 28, 8.30pm
Where: Showroom, Twin Towns
Tickets: $69 at twintowns.com.au