On Sunday May 15th BBC Radio London DJ Gary Crowley hosts an evening with 10cc’s million-selling songwriter Graham Gouldman. Following a Q&A, Graham’s four-piece band will play songs from his glittering back catalogue. Gary got together with Graham recently for an exclusive interview for TW Magazines to get a taster of what to expect on the night…
GC: Absolutely thrilled that you’re coming to the Exchange, Graham – you’re going to love the venue. You’re playing the Palladium on your current tour. How do more intimate shows like this compare?
GG: I actually like doing smaller type gigs. You can see people. People can see you. You can see their expressions as opposed to a big stage where you can only see so far into the audience, and it makes for a more intimate atmosphere.
GC: And as for the set list, with so many fantastic songs to choose from, is it easy whittling it down for something a little bit more intimate?
GG: If it was a 10cc show, we basically only do 10cc songs plus a couple of others but when I come to The Exchange I’m going to do songs I wrote in the ’60s as well, and talk about them a little bit. People always want to know how the song was written, where did you get the idea? So, I’m happy to explain that because it’s quite funny sometimes how things actually got created.
GC: Are there certain songs you enjoy performing, particularly? Do you have your favourites?
GG: You don’t have a favourite, Gary! They’re like children! But there are some that are nice to play. Things like Dreadlock Holiday, when people join in the chorus. It’s really nice when they know the words.
GC: How do you define what a great song is, or are you still trying to work it out after all this time?
GG: If you start writing a song it has to have legs for you to finish it. Then it leads you on…but it’s still a bit of a mystery to me. In the early days, of 10cc there were tracks that we thought were going to be B-sides or album tracks, and then people go, “That’s fantastic!” and it turns out to be a big hit and vice versa. There might be things you’d think could be commercially successful and nothing happens. It’s interesting.
GC: Paul McCartney famously said that he wished he’d written Sting’s Fields Of Gold. I’m going to be really cruel now and ask if there are any songs that leave you in awe and that you wish you’d written?
GG: Gary! That is such an unfair question! There are so many. I love Witchita Lineman by Jimmy Webb. There’s something very magical about that. The Beatles’ Martha My Dear, it’s got such a beautiful chord sequence. And the way it goes off on a tangent and comes back on itself. Run That Body Down by Paul Simon. That’s a track I not only wish I had written, but I wish I could have played on as well, because it’s a beautiful acoustic guitar song to play.
GC: And what about the songs of the last 10, 20 years? How do think they compare to the songs of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s?
GG: I think, for me, the ’60s was kind of the golden period and everything else is based on that. But there are people like Billie Eilish, I really like some of her stuff; The Arctic Monkeys, too. So there’s always something new to like, even though it might not be your style of music in particular.
Gary Crowley presents An Evening with 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, Sunday May 15th, The Exchange Twickenham. Tickets are priced £25 and available from ticketsource.co.uk
For full details of this and other events in May visit exchangetwickenham.co.uk