Wickham Festival News

10CC – a short history

Among the most inventive and influential bands in the history of popular music, 10cc are one of the very few acts to have achieved commercial, critical and creative success in equal measure.

Testament to 10cc’s ongoing appeal, the band can count a generation straddling array of fellow artists, everyone from Chrissie Hynde to The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie and Axl Rose to Sophie Ellis Bextor, among their many millions of fans.

I’m Not In Love, co-written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart, features prominently in the soundtrack to the 2014 blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $635 million in its first two months in US cinemas and spawned a No 1 album. Meanwhile, a key element of the soundtrack to 2010’s Facebook feature film The Social Network is Dreadlock Holiday, which is also the Sky Sports cricket reports theme in Australia.

10CC logo
10CC are still going strong

10cc has sold more than 30 million albums around the world and the band’s longevity is testament to their timeless songs, and reflecting Gouldman’s status as one of the world’s leading songwriters, he was inducted into America’s Songwriter’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in New York in June. Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen, Elton John and Sting.

The band continues to traverse the globe and play countries as disparate as Iceland and South Africa, Latvia and Japan, as well as across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and the US.

Following a 23-date UK tour in October-November, early 2015 will see the band play three concerts in Japan before a 12-date tour of major UK concert venues in February, when the first half of the show will feature the band performing the Sheet Music album in its entirety, with a special video contribution from Kevin Goidley.

Gouldman attributes 10cc’s lasting appeal to the quality and individuality of the band’s songs. “They don’t seem to date; they are original, we never followed any trend we simple wrote for our own pleasure. The fact that the songs are being played as often on the radio today as they ever were shows how true that is,” he says.

10cc ruled the pop world at a time – the 1970s – when the charts were dominated by some of the most creative and colourful artistes in pop history.

Unlike David Bowie, Queen, Elton John or Rod Stewart – all of whom they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with for a decade – 10cc’s energies were not centred on image or celebrity-status, but on creating highly sophisticated rock masterworks with mainstream appeal.

Early influences on the band included The Beatles and the Beach Boys, but their palate proved wide. Says Gouldman: “For me it was people like Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jimmy Webb, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. Eric [Stewart] was more rock ’n’ roll, the blues and R&B; while Kevin [Godley] and Lol [Creme] were into more artistic and avant-garde acts including Jacques Brel. It’s what happened when we put all those things together that made 10cc.”

The result was some of the greatest pop records of the 20th Century. From breakthrough hit Donna in 1972 to their final No 1, Dreadlock Holiday in 1978, via landmark releases including 1975 worldwide hit I’m Not In Love, 10cc stood for the kind of heightened pop sensibility achieved only by the very greatest music practitioners. As Rolling Stone magazine put it in 1975, ‘There is more going on in one 10cc song than on the last ten Yes albums.’

With hit song-writing credits with bands including the Yardbirds, Hollies and Herman’s Hermits under his belt, the early 1970s saw Gouldman and his compatriots reach new levels of creative endeavour.

He spent time in New York writing for bubblegum kings Jerry Kazenetz and Jeff Katz., but fed up with being away from home, he returned to the UK to record the songs he had written Stateside with his friends at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

Back in Manchester, Stewart, Godley and Creme had also been busy, with Stewart testing a new four-track recorder that lead to the recording of Neanderthal Man, a track that went on to enjoy 14 weeks in the UK charts in 1970, peaking at No 2. The band was called Hotlegs and comprised Godley, Creme, Stewart, and briefly Gouldman.

In1972 Gouldman’s manager Harvey Lisberg (later to become 10cc’s manager) met Neil Sedaka, who was playing a residency at Batley Variety Club in Yorkshire. Sedaka’s career was in decline and Lisberg suggested he worked with the guys at Strawberry.

The result was Sedaka’s hit comeback album Solitaire, produced by Gouldman, Stewart, Godley and Creme, with Stewart acting as engineer.

“We all learned so much from those sessions. Neil’s sheer professionalism, musicianship and song-writing were inspiring,” says Gouldman.

“We’d done a few tracks and we needed a B-side for Waterfall [a Gouldman/Stewart composition]. There was a possibility that it would come out on the Apple label, which we were very excited about, because any connection with the Beatles was great,” says Gouldman.

A Godley and Creme song, Donna, was chosen. “We didn’t have a name for the band and weren’t bent on world domination or anything, but Donna made us sit up and notice ourselves, that we actually had something special.”

And so 10cc was born, Donna became the A side and reached No 2 in the UK charts. Right from the start it was obvious they weren’t like other groups. All four could sing, were adept in the recording studio, and were seasoned musicians more interested in pleasing themselves than writing to a formula.

Not long after Donna was released, Sedaka returned to Strawberry to record a second album, The Tra-La Days Are Over, with the same team, and his career took off again.

10cc comprised essentially two song-writing camps, Gouldman and Stewart, plus Godley and Creme, although they would sometimes intermingle. “Our principle was always the music,” says Gouldman, “whatever’s best for the song. That means if I can sing better than you on it, that’s what happens. Or if Lol can play lead guitar better than you, he’ll do it. Consequently we had four singers in the band, four instrumentalists and four producers, plus Eric also engineered the sessions.

“The other thing was whoever wrote the song, it kind of became the property of the four of us. You couldn’t say, ‘That song is crap, I don’t want anything to do with it’. What you had to say was, ‘I don’t like that part of the song, but I think we could make it better by doing this’. You always had to come up with something positive.”

“It was the combination of all four of us that made the difference, not only in the song-writing, but in the production values as well,” says Gouldman.

Whether it’s the eight-minute pop opera Une Nuit a Paris, or the No.1 hit pop masterpiece I’m Not In Love, both from The Original Soundtrack (1975) album, no two 10cc records sound the same,

“A very important element,” explains Gouldman, “was we were completely self-contained. There wasn’t even a producer. If Eric was singing one of us would work the board. We used to just give the tracks straight to the record company.”

Indeed, they didn’t even have a recognisable frontman. “Eric was a very good-looking guy who took on the role quite often, and Lol was also brilliant out front. But you’d never know on the record who was playing guitar or even who was singing sometimes.”

The first time 10cc played live, at the Isle of Man Casino in 1973, they were taken aback at the response. “We went onstage and girls started screaming! It was like, what the hell is going on? We imagined ourselves as professors of pop who were going to give a lecture on pop music, but it wasn’t like that at all.”

The critical plaudits also rolled in. Rolling Stone calling The Original Soundtrack, “better than anything the Beach Boys have done of late”. The NME described I’m Not In Love as “a John Lennon song with a Paul McCartney vocal”. In an age where critics spent an inordinate amount of time trying to identify the new Beatles, 10cc increasingly seemed to fit the bill.

“Because we existed in our own world, we didn’t need anyone to tell us how good we were. We listened to the records and went, this is everything we want it to be and more.” Even after the astonishing success of I’m Not In Love, they refused to play the game and followed it up with the acidic Art For Art’s Sake – and scored another Top 5 hit.

“Art for art’s sake, money for God’s sake, was something my late father used to say to me, although he wasn’t cynical like that at all – he was very artistic. But it’s such a lovely phrase. Eric had this riff and I just started singing that, and the song came.”

The biggest surprise of all was the departure of Godley and Creme after their next album, How Dare You? “It was horrible,” Gouldman confesses. “It was an absolute disaster. Like getting a divorce.”

Godley and Creme had become preoccupied with the Gizmotron – from the word ‘gizmo’ – a device they had invented which when applied could bring new sounds and textures out of an electric guitar. Obsessed with devising a showcase for it, they began recording a triple album together, Consequences.

Says a reflective Gouldman now, “Kev and I, who stayed quite close, have talked about this since and have decided what should have happened; he and Lol should have gone off and done their thing for a year or so, then allowed 10cc to resume.

“But that’s just not how things were done in the ‘70s. No one had a year off. Plus I think the record company were probably expecting another album, tours were booked and so on.”

Instead, Gouldman and Stewart continued as 10cc and scored more notable successes with their next two albums, Deceptive Bends (1977) – featuring their next worldwide hit single Things We Do For Love – and Bloody Tourists (1978), which spawned another international hit, Dreadlock Holiday.

“We were on a mission to prove ourselves,” says Gouldman, “This wasn’t like a couple of guys leaving the band who just played their instruments. This was two of the producers going, two of the singers going, two of the songwriters going. So it was a real 50 percent gone.”

Ultimately, the split took its toll and when Stewart was badly injured in a car crash in 1979, the writing was on the wall.

“It flattened me completely,” Stewart later recalled. “I damaged my left ear and eye very badly. I couldn’t go near music. I couldn’t go near anything loud and I love music and motor-racing. I had to stay away from both things for a long time [and] the momentum of this big machine that we’d had rolling slowed and slowed and slowed. And on the music scene, the punk thing had come in a big way.”

All four original members enjoyed very successful post-10cc careers. Godley and Creme continued as a partnership, recording their own hit records and becoming Grammy-winning video directors for acts including Ultravox, The Police, Duran Duran and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Stewart collaborated on three Paul McCartney albums in the 1980s and continues to record sporadically as a solo artiste, his most recent collection being Viva La Difference in 2009.

Meanwhile Gouldman spent the 1980s concentrating on recording soundtracks for films such as Farah Fawcett’s Sunburn and the American animation Animalympics. He also worked as a producer with The Ramones and Gilbert O’Sullivan.

He then formed Wax with American songwriter Andrew ‘Lonely Boy’ Gold and had hits with Right Between The Eyes and Bridge To You Heart.

There were two final Gouldman-Stewart directed 10cc albums in the ‘90s, the first … Meanwhile (1992), featured contributions from both Godley and Creme, while the last, Mirror Mirror (1995), despite featuring contributions from McCartney and Gold, was more a collection of Gouldman and Stewart solo songs.

That same year, 10cc received a BMI citation for three million plays on US radio for I’m Not In Love (since risen to five million). This followed the BMI citation for two million plays (since risen to 3.5m) of Things We Do For Love,

In 2002, the 30th anniversary of the band’s debut hit Donna, 10cc began to creep back into the national consciousness. With Gouldman fronting a new touring band, a 28-date UK tour was followed by a series of one-off events across Europe. The band have continued to regularly tour the world ever since.

10CC with Graham Gouldman centre
10CC with Graham Gouldman centre

In 2006, Universal records released the TV-advertised, double CD 10cc: Greatest Hits … And More, and the following year national newspaper the Mail On Sunday produced a special 10-track, cover-mount Best of 10cc Live CD, distributing more than 2.4 million copies throughout the UK and Ireland. The paper reported that sales rose by 232,000 on the day of publication.

For the band’s 40th anniversary year in 2012, Universal Records released a new five-CD box set entitled Tenology, featuring 80 tracks chosen by the four original and members.

A world tour took 10cc as far and wide as Iceland and Australia, and saw them play London’s Royal Albert Hall for the first time. The landmark concert saw Kevin Godley guest on several numbers including a capella version of Donna.

After 50 concerts with 10cc that year, Gouldman decided to tour as an acoustic outfit, Heart Full of Songs, which included10cc’s Rick Fenn, Mick Wilson and Mike Stevens. Their set included hits Gouldman wrote for The Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, the Yardbirds and film soundtracks, along with material from his new solo album Love And Work.

And in a triumphant end to 2013, 10cc joining Status Quo for a tour of UK arenas, including London’s The O2. This year has seen the band play New Zealand and a host of summer festivals across the UK and Europe, including the 60,000-capacity British Summer Time in London’s Hyde Park.

“Year on year we get busier and busier. It’s great, we love touring and playing together and we get on really well. The audiences these days are very gratifying. You get the people you would expect, who grew up with 10cc, but you also get young kids who know the songs too,” says Gouldman.

With four decades of song-writing excellence and a crack band of musicians behind him Gouldman confidently promises, “This is as near as you’re ever going to get to hearing the perfect 10cc. Hit after hit after hit. It’s relentless. We show no mercy.”
The live band’s line-up is:

Graham Gouldman – bass, guitars, vocals
Rick Fenn – lead guitar, vocals, bass
Paul Burgess – drums, percussion
Mick Wilson – vocals, percussion, guitar, keyboards
Mike Stevens – keyboards, guitar, bass, sax, vocals

Paul has worked with 10cc from the beginning and Rick joined the live band in the mid-‘70s. Mike is occasionally replaced by Keith Hayman, when Mike tours as musical director with Take That or Gary Barlow. Similarly, Mick is occasionally replaced by Iain Hornal, when Mick is otherwise engaged.

10cc – Top UK Chart Positions

I’m Not In Love 1
Dreadlock Holiday 1
Rubber Bullets 1
Donna 2
Art For Art’s Sake 5
Good Morning Judge 5
The Things We Do For Love 6
I’m Mandy Fly Me 6
Life Is A Minestrone 7
The Dean And I 10
The Wall Street Shuffle 10

 
• 10cc has sold more than 15 million albums in the UK.

• 10cc has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide

• I’m Not In Love has been played over five million times on US radio.

• A YouTube video clip about the making of I’m Not In Love circulated the globe in late-2010, resulting in increased name-checks by bloggers and DJs.

• Things We Do For Love has been played over 3.5 million times on US radio.

• Dreadlock Holiday is featured on the soundtrack of the 2010 film The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook

• I’m Not In Love was part of the soundtrack of the film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

• Gouldman, Godley and Crème won two Ivor Novello Awards for the 1973 hit single Rubber Bullets. The Ivor Novello Awards, established in 1955, are the highest song-writing accolades in the UK.

• In 1993, Will To Power hit the Top 10 in the UK with its version of I’m Not In Love. It has also been recorded by, among others, The Pretenders (for the film Indecent Proposal), Peggy Lee, Richie Havens, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, and most recently The Flaming Lips.

• Axl Rose of Guns N’Roses says of I’m Not In Love, “that song messes with my life, man. It’s one of my favourite songs of all time.”

• Bus Stop (written by Gouldman for he Hollies) has been played over four million times on US radio. He also wrote the Yardbird’s hit For Your Love, which has been played over two million times on US radio.

• Wax, featuring Gouldman and the late Andrew Gold, has sold more than two million albums worldwide, spawning the hit singles Right Between The Eyes and Bridge To Your Heart.

• I’m Not In Love is lead track on the new blockbuster Disney film Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed $635 million in its first two months in US cinemas and spawned a No 1 album there.

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    Great News! Van Morrison is confirmed for next year's Wickham Festival. Saturday 7th August 2021. Please 'Share' the news. If you've not already got your tickets, they're onsale now via this link (and selling fast): www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets ... See MoreSee Less

    Great News!  Van Morrison is confirmed for next years Wickham Festival.  Saturday 7th August 2021.  Please Share the news.  If youve not already got your tickets, theyre onsale now via this link (and selling fast):  www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

    Comment on Facebook

    I like it, I like it a lot !!

    Well done Peter et al. If you were going to lose anyone between now and 2021 it was going to be the bigger acts that might already have had tours lined up. You're doing a wonderful job, as ever, in the face of something that must have been so disappointing and costly :-( for you x

    Good news was really looking forward to seeing him. Great work going on behind the scenes as always by Peter and the team.

    Anne Collins I know next year will be the last thing on your mind, right now, but this was the festival I was planning on this year. All of us next year?! X

    Excellent!! Well done! Was really hoping you could hang onto him.

    See you next year then. Lots of love Edward II. Xx

    On my birthday too - Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance

    Great news. Well done.😀😎😎

    So excited to finally get to see him 😎😎

    That’s some good news!

    Marvellous news!!!!

    Wonderful news. See you then.

    Brilliant we’ll definitely be there x

    So pleased to hear this! 😍

    Fantastic news - can’t wait to see Van the man !

    A lovely Happy birthday present for me ☺

    That's great news 😀 👍

    Amazing news!

    He is one of my favourites

    Brilliant news. Van is my all time favourite xx

    Absolutely brilliant

    Fantastic ❤️

    Woo hoo. Good news indeed. 👏

    Skinny Lister, should be back on the road, pretty please Wickham 😁

    Get the fabulous Jack Lukeman booked as well!

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    Thank you so much for all your love & support over the past 24 hours. We really do appreciate it. We'll see you all in 2021 to enjoy the likes of The Waterboys - they've confirmed today that they'll be at Wickham on Sunday 8th August 2021. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UrXRbMYzD8 ... See MoreSee Less

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    Saving my ticket and looking forward to seeing the wonderful Mike Scott! 😍

    No clash with Cropredy weekend, so should be good for us too. Might still take up our 2 nights at the Shedfield Country Club and explore the Meon Valley a bit more, this year.

    Whooohooo. That's a bloody good start to next year's line up. So sorry not to be there this year but we're really happy that we already have our tickets and they'll roll over <3

    Looking forward to seeing you all next year xxx

    Looking forward to kicking off 2021 festival with SAS Band!! 👍

    Saving ours for 2021 🤘👍

    Keeping ours safe for next year.😊

    Looking forward to 2021. Let’s hope Van is still good to be there.

    I will be there to steward😊🚩

    It’s going to be brilliant! X

    When can you purchase tickets for 2021??

    O yes

    Hi. I have a weekend ticket but also got my wife a day ticket to see the Waterboys. As they are now on a different day next year to I have to refund this year’s day ticket and get her a new one or is the one I have transferable to Sunday next year? Cheers

    Roll over for me, gutted to not be having the festival this year.

    Fantastic! ❤️

    Steve Kemp

    Vanessa Sherlock.

    2021 tickets now onsale at 2020 prices. If you've yet to buy, save £40 on weekend season tickets if you buy now. www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

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    We tried everything we could to get this year's Wickham Festival on but sadly we're forced to postpone to 2021. The good news is that all this year's artists are being re-booked for next year. Please click on statement below to enlarge and read. ... See MoreSee Less

    We tried everything we could to get this years Wickham Festival on but sadly were forced to postpone to 2021.  The good news is that all this years artists are being re-booked for next year.  Please click on statement below to enlarge and read.

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    We are very sad to hear your news Peter. I know from the updates that you and your team worked hard to put on a show this year for everyone. We would have supported you had the festival gone on this year. You will come back stronger next year once things are back to normal in the world. X

    Thank you for keeping us informed right the way through. We are disappointed, of course, but feel that the right decision has been made. We are delighted that the same line-up will be at next summer’s festival. Thank you so much for organising it and we will definitely roll over our tickets and Motorhome camping ticket and look forward to next year’s festival. Thank you all for your hard work and the way you have involved us at every stage. It is much appreciated.

    I really wanted to come this year for the first time as the lineup looked so good but I was nervous about buying tickets under the circumstances. I think it’s the right decision to postpone and will definitely buy tickets for next year.

    Saddened to hear this decision, however, I believe its the best thing to do. We were in turmoil as to whether we should attend if you did go ahead. Here's to next year, keeping my tickets safe. Thank you for the update... Now go enjoy a well deserved break, xx 😊

    Thank you. For us this was the right decision. If it had gone ahead and as someone who has been in the high risk zone it felt too early to come and mix however careful you were being. Happy to roll tickets over to 21.

    Well done to all the team for persevering with this and trying to organise a fantastic festival for us. We all appreciate the effort you all put in and appreciate this can’t have been an easy decision..However, let’s all look forward to a fantastic festival next year..I for one can’t wait!

    A tough decision to make but in the current climate feel it's the right one. Thank you for all your time and effort giving this year's festival every chance to go ahead, see you in 2021

    It’s a real shame for you all but it will be something to look forward to next year. Too soon to be safe. I am sorry that your plans have been scuppered but hopefully everyone will keep their tickets for the superb line up and we’ll all be there with bells on next summer. Best wishes. X 👏

    Thank you for keeping us informed all the way. We will most definitely be there next year. Tough decision you guys had to make, but I agree it is the right decision. Much love team Wickham xxx

    So sad, no festival has tried harder to keep the faith....................Here's to next year!!!!! 😊😊😊😊😊😊

    Thanks so much Peter and everyone for working so hard to try to make the festival happen this year. Would have loved it to happen but absolutely understand your decision. See you in 2021.

    This announcement, whilst disappointing is both completely understandable and more evidence (as if we needed it) as to why this is the best and most public centered festival in the UK. We will be more than happy to support you and keep our tickets for next year. Keep up the great work...

    We hadn't booked for this year, but glad we didn't miss it as the lineup looks great! Going to see if my husband agrees to booking tickets for next year! 🤞🏻

    So, so sorry. You tried as hard as you possibly could. Thank you for all of your efforts. Stay well & safe & we will see you next year 😢♥️

    Wow...for once everyone is in agreement that the correct decision has been made, there’s a first on Facebook! Well done to all the team who put so much effort in staging the festival. See you in 2021!

    That has to be the right decision given what (little) we now know. Have been really impressed by the communications from Wickham over the past few months, really felt we've been kept in the loop, and have some understanding of the difficult decisions you've been having to make on our behalf. The line up this year was really exciting, we look forward to our annual fix of Celtic bands, so it's great that it's just been delayed by a year and the lineup will be unchanged. We'll certainly hold onto our tickets for next year, as I'm sure will most other ticket holders.

    Happy to roll over to 2021, you did your best but unfortunately this virus has wrecked so much of what is good in life.

    Such a shame - but a sensible decision in these ever-changing circumstances! Our group will be rolling over our tickets :D

    Correct decision, we are so pleased that the acts we were so looking forward to seeing will be there next year. See you all next year keep safe everyone...

    It would have been even more heartbreaking and costly if you'd put everything in place and had to cancel at the last minute. With the ever changing situation just now, I'm sure this is the right decision to have made. I know you'll be making sure that 2021 is even better than ever. I for one am already looking forward to it.

    Thanks for trying, but at the end of the day it's the right decision. We'd already decided not to come, being wary of being in a large crowd, albeit at a certain social distance. We will, however look forward to August 2021 and a great party. If Glasto can have a year off, so can Wickham.

    Well done for , holding out and diligently exploring all options to keep show on the road

    Clearly a difficult decision, but I think it’s the right one. Even without the Leicester lockdown, you hit the nail on the head with point 2 - there would always be the risk of legislation; things have been changing weekly and daily, so committing yourselves would be high risk.

    Genuinely gutted for you Peter, I know how incredibly hard you and your team have worked. We'll just have to make 2021 an even bigger party. Until then, stay safe and good luck with the preparations. Love from The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican xxx

    Sad, but it's the right decision, only what we've all been expecting. See you next year x

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    For those missing live music at Glastonbury this weekend. Click the link for a great 'Beans on Toast' video.
    'I know there will be re-runs on the BBC. And that's all well and good but it's not my Glastonbury'

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=szQOiqQlkHo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3F2Ege91PxrASJos2bnhONBfe6i8XOJgk...
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    Thankyou. Love Beans, will miss him this year!

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