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Tuesday 26 March 2024

10cc at the Royal Albert Hall

 Is This Mutton reviews a performance by 10cc at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in March 2024

Dear friends. It's a sobering thought that when 10cc had their first hit, in 1972,  I was 11. Many hits, and different band formations later, and I find myself in London's Royal Albert Hall, looking forward to hearing that amazing back catalogue.

We arrived early as we had a booking at one of the venue's restaurants,  Coda by Eric Chavot. A lovely way to start the evening.  As we made our way to the 3rd floor, we could hear "Cry" being performed by the group in a warm-up. It made me excited for the concert. 

I wasn't a big fan of 10cc back in the day. I didn't have any of their vinyl.  I didn't mind them, but my attention was elsewhere, on David Bowie and later punk rock.

I hadn't seen any promotion for the event so I missed the best booking window.  We ended up in the 3rd tier. But views at the RAH are always quite good. What makes it stand out for me is the excellent acoustics. The last three venues I've been to, the Bournemouth International Conference Center, the Barbican Centre and the Royal Festival Hall, all have very poor acoustics. Sound is muffled and voices lost. 

Not so at the RAH, where the warm-up act, Paul Canning, performed on his own with an acoustic guitar, and the sound quality was sublime.

Before we move on to 10cc, a few words about the current formation of the group.  The band split in two in 1976, when Kevin Godley and Lol Creme left the group to form a duo. They didn't like the commercial direction in which 10cc was going, following hits like I'm Not in Love.  

Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman continued as 10cc until 1995 when Stewart left.  Gouldman has led 10cc since then. Occasionally, I read, Kevin Godley participates in a video during the set, but the other ex-members have no involvement.  Here's the current line-up. 

The current lineup of 10cc. Their Royal Albert Hall concert in March 2024 is reviewed by is This Mutton.

Last night the gig commenced with a fantastic video that more or less told the story of how the group formed. It was unusual and attention grabbing. 

The first few songs were a bit so-so.  The band have toured for years and they have a slick repertoire that sometimes seemed a bit too polished. Gouldman, now 77,  is an unlikely frontman: very genial in his grey jacket and trousers, as if he had come from a golf club dinner.  Vocals are shared with Paul Burgess, and lead guitar is Rick Fenn, who has been with the group a long time.

When you consider 10cc's packed tour schedule, kudos must go to Gouldman and the team for the hard work involved.  

I missed some nuances of studio production in the classics played at the start, Art for Art's Sake and The Dean and I. 

Gradually the music and the band became a bit more relaxed. 

Kevin Godley Was There!

The highlight for me was the surprise live appearance of Kevin Godley.  He appeared first in a video performing Somewhere in Hollywood, and it reminded me of how experimental he and Creme became on their own terms.

Godley then came on stage, a very low key entrance, and had everyone spell bound with Cry. His presence lifted the whole thing by several notches. There was nothing theatrical about his performance, he stood and sang, in a baggy jumper, at the age of 78. But his charisma saturated this iconic venue.  He then went offstage, to return at the end behind a drum kit.

It would be wonderful indeed if Eric Stewart and Lol Creme could put their difference behind them and turn up at one or two of the biggest venues. 

All the classics were performed including I'm Not in Love, I'm Mandy Fly Me and the somewhat un-PC, but very popular,  Dreadlock Holiday.  The encore was an acapella version of Donna, which was a bit hit and miss, and Rubber Bullets.  The band also performed  a new Gouldman song which was well received, and plenty of songs from the albums which were new to me. 

There wasn't any dancing, except perhaps in the front rows of the stalls, and less noise and adulation than I expected. What a pity! I had my sparkly dancing shoes on.  I expected a bit more razzmatazz for the Royal Albert Hall, perhaps more video and more adventurous lighting. The group's gigs this year have mainly been at quite small UK venues so I guess this production was geared for those. 

Below: the encore. Graham Gouldman is at the front and to his right in black is Kevin Godley.

The Emerging Trend of Bad Boomer Behaviour

One thing which did jar a bit was the Bad Boomer Behaviour.   I'm a Boomer - the cohort born between 1946 and 1964, albeit at the younger end. I've read several reports lately saying that my generation drink more than young people, and mostly at home.  Well, I have to say it seems to be true, and it's an unwelcome trend at concerts and plays. 

When Mr Mutton and I saw Elton John in 2016 we were flabbergasted by the movement between songs as people continually got up and down to buy drinks.  I saw it again in December at Madness, at the Bournemouth International Conference Centre.

Last night I didn't expect to see it because the rows at the RAH can only be accessed at the two ends and are very long, which I thought would put people off.

But no.  A few determined individuals were continually slopping drinks over everyone and forcing the row to stand, which wasn't easy for several on sticks or awaiting knee replacements.

In fact a drunken man actually fell over in the row behind us, which was disconcerting because this could have been a tragedy high up in the tired seating of the RAH. 

The problem is that Boomers don't get out very much and let themselves down. The hubster is saying he doesn't want to go to see any other 70s or 80s bands in concert, which is a shame seeing as I've booked Squeeze!  

I'm sure venues like the profits they make from selling alcohol.  But they need to think about public safety and our actual enjoyment of the event. I would like to see the bars closed during the performance,  and open only before it starts and during the interval. I'd also like it if drinks were banned from the auditorium as they used to be. 

Bad behaviour is now endemic in the West End, where theatres have had to eject people for heckling, refusing to stop videoing on their phones, and anti-social behaviour. Very sad. 

Were you a 10cc fan?  Have you witnessed Bad Boomer Behaviour?  Do let us know in the comments.


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  1. Great review Gail. They did have some major hits back in the day, but like you say not top of my list for fandom.

  2. I go to as many shows/concerts still (Im 68) as we can afford and hubby agrees to. My only complaint is just as you stated, the sheer amount of people drinking/going for drinks or loo breaks during the show. It really spoils it for me AND the constant talking during songs! Shut up please!! It costs so much nowadays too so to have it spoilt like this is so upsetting. Drink before, during the break and afterwards but please will the arenas close the bars during the show. I doubt they will, too lucrative. Thanks for posting my thoughts x

  3. I was at a Luther live concert and the 2 guys next to me must have had 6 drinks during the evening and were up and down all the time and constantly talking pain in the a***

  4. Oh how wonderful. I do love hearing 10cc. The song ‘I'm not in love’ gives me memories of my first ‘slow’ dance at a friends party years ago xx Jacqui x


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