Most people recognise Graham Gouldman as a key member of 70s rock and pop icons 10cc and the writer of such classics as I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday but his catalogue of hits goes far beyond. Manchester-born Graham wrote some of the most memorable songs that shaped the soundtrack of the sixties and his Heart Full Of Songs tour gives Graham the opportunity to revisit these and many more from his time with, and after, 10cc.
Graham’s 14-date tour begins in Gateshead on 19th March and, the following day, he releases his latest album Modesty Forbids, just the fifth solo album of a career spanning 55 years.
“I’m really looking forward to the tour,” says Graham. “It’s quite different from the 10cc show which is all lights and production, a big band sound. This is a more intimate affair.
“The songs take on a different character. You home in on the lyrics a lot more, listening to them in a pure form and I get to share what is was like the first time it was written. Obviously I was there,” he laughs, “the first time I’m Not In Love was ever played because I co-wrote it! That’s what I want people to feel.
“I’m Not In Love is a good example. It’s quite famous for its production, but to hear it in its pure form, it stands up very well. That’s the sign of a good song, really, if it works like that. The production is a plus but there has to be a good song at the heart of it all.
“The show also gives me the chance to talk about the songs a little bit, how they came about and what inspired them.”
Graham was just 18 when For Your Love became a top 3 hit for The Yardbirds in 1965. Heart Full of Soul (#2) and Evil Hearted You (#3) quickly followed establishing Graham as one of the brightest young talents in a golden era for rock and pop. More hits for the Hollies (Look Through Any Window and Bus Stop), Herman’s Hermits (No Milk Today) and Wayne Fontana (Pamela, Pamela) were among a catalogue that cemented his reputation and still feature regularly on the radio today.
He revealed that Bus Stop, which hit number 5 on both sides of the Atlantic for the Hollies in 1966, is possibly his personal favourite. “It was semi-autobiographical. Some songs are complete fiction and some a mixture of fiction and reality, with quite a lot of imagination.
“I did used to take the bus to work every day before I became a professional writer. There is a bit of fantasy there but the bus stop was real. When I was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, you have to perform one song and I chose Bus Stop.
“Songs from personal experience have an air of authenticity about them. I’ve written a song (Ariella) about my wife and how we met, which turned out to be quite handy,” he explains. “Whenever people ask how I met my wife, I just quote the first verse of the song,” he laughs, “and I don’t have to go through a long rigmarole!”
Graham has occasionally included a short medley of his other works in his 10cc shows. They were always a popular feature, but Heart Full Of Songs allows him to explore his back-catalogue more fully.
“I hasten to say that I was very shocked to think of how many decades I’m drawing on for these songs! It’s wonderful to have that and it gives me the luxury of being able to pick the songs that really suit being played acoustically. There is one song that I could not get to work at all, so I completely changed the rhythm of it, it goes down great and it’s fun to play in its different form. I don’t really like to change arrangements that much, although sometimes you have to. Going back to I’m Not In Love, there is a whole middle section that I just cut out because it does not work. Some songs are so production orientated that I don’t feel they work acoustically, but I have so many other songs that I can use, so it’s ok.”
This platform gives Graham the opportunity to include a couple of tracks from his Wax collaboration with the late Andrew Gold, together with later material including Daylight, Graham’s tribute to Andrew.
“I love playing that song, I just wish he could have heard it. There are a couple of songs that I wrote with Andrew in the show, they are things I couldn’t do with 10cc. That’s what is so nice about it.”
Graham first performed his Heart Full Of Songs show in 2013 and now tours across Belgium, Germany, Holland and the UK’ The band comprises Graham, Ciaran Jeremiah (The Feeling), Dave Cobby and one of Iain Hornal, Nick Kendal or Andy Park, depending on their various commitments.
Modesty Forbids will be Graham’s first album since Love And Work in 2012. It is scheduled for release on 20th March on British independent record label Lojinx and includes a guest appearance by The Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr.
Graham was invited by to join Ringo’s All Starr Band for tours of Europe and the USA in 2018, during which the band played three 10cc songs. Ringo has reciprocated with a special guest appearance the track Standing Next To Me on Graham’s album.
“Playing with Ringo and The All Starr Band was absolutely brilliant,” Graham said, “and having Ringo play drums on one of my new album’s songs was the icing on the cake. The song is about how I came to be asked to join his band, and about my experience of being on the road with Ringo.”
Graham Gouldman’s Heart Full of Songs tour visits the following venues:
|Thursday 19 March||Gateshead||Sage 2||FIND TICKETS|
|Friday 20 March||Aberdeen||The Tivoli Theatre||FIND TICKETS|
|Saturday 21 March||Edinburgh||Pleasance Theatre||FIND TICKETS|
|Sunday 22 March||Glasgow||St Luke’s||FIND TICKETS|
|Tuesday 24 March||Solihull||The Core Theatre||FIND TICKETS|
|Wednesday 25 March||Leeds||City Varieties||FIND TICKETS|
|Thursday 26 March||London||Union Chapel||FIND TICKETS|
|Friday 27 March||Brighton||St George’s||FIND TICKETS|
|Sunday 29 March||Colwyn||Theatr Colwyn||FIND TICKETS|
|Monday 30 March||Liverpool||Epstein Theatre||FIND TICKETS|
|Wednesday 1 April||Wavendon||The Stables||FIND TICKETS|
|Thursday 2 April||Manchester||RNCM||FIND TICKETS|
|Friday 3 April||Bristol||St George’s||FIND TICKETS|
|Saturday 4 April||Cardiff||The Gate||FIND TICKETS|
For more information and tickets please visit https://grahamgouldman.info/events/category/heart-full-of-songs-2020/