It is only between 10cc’s sell-out, bi-annual UK tours that the band’s co-founder Graham Gouldman is able to fully indulge his Heart Full of Songs project and take it on tour.
As a result, the semi-acoustic four-piece –performing a broad spread of Graham’s song-writing catalogue, including chart hits for 10cc, the Hollies, Herman’s Hermits, the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck and his time in Wax with Andrew Gold – returns with a 15-date tour in March 2023.
The band line-up comprises Graham, 10cc live band members Iain Hornal and Keith Hayman, and Dave Cobby.
Since Heart Full of Songs last toured the UK in September 2021, Graham has been busy taking 10cc to some of Scandinavia’s and central Europe’s most prestigious concert venues, along with four hugely successful arena events with Toto.
Heart Full of Songs also managed a seven-date tour of Holland.
Meanwhile, the latest project to earn Graham a wealth of media coverage is his new song Floating In Heaven, which caught the attention of Queen’s Brian May, at a crucial time in the history of space exploration.
Brian, who has a passion for astronomy and a PhD in astrophysics, worked with Graham to release Floating In Heaven as a single to mark the unveiling to the world of the first astonishing images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope on 12 July. The pair performed the song with a full orchestra at the sixth Starmus convention, held on 5-10 September in Yerevan, Armenia.
Floating In Heaven is also the soundtrack for a YouTube video featuring the images, released by the Space Telescope Science Institute in the US.
Being invited by Ringo Starr to join his All Starr Band for arena tours of Europe and the USA in 2018 – during which the band played three 10cc songs at each performance – was “one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done”, says Graham.
Another event, although not widely known, gave Graham a further lift. It happened backstage at a festival when Robert Plant thanked him for writing one of the songs that got him through the audition to join what became Led Zeppelin. The song was one of his early compositions, For Your Love.
Graham’s status as one of the world’s leading songwriters was acknowledged in 2014 with his induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – an arm of America’s National Academy of Music.
Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Leonard Cohen and Sting.
That was followed in 2015 by Broadcast Music Incorporated in the US anointing him an Icon of the Industry at a special ceremony in London, where he stunned the audience with an acoustic rendition of I’m Not In Love, which he co-wrote, accompanied by Lisa Stansfield on vocals.
When Graham formed what became Heart Full of Songs nine years ago, it was purely for the pleasure of playing his songs in their simplest form, acoustically.
The format became so popular that Heart Full of Songs now tours the UK every two years, along with concerts and festival appearances in the UK and Europe.
For lovers of perfectly-crafted music performed by the composer, a Heart Full of Songs concert is truly an exquisite experience.
How it all began …
Born on 10 May 1946 in Manchester, Graham was given his first guitar at the age of 11 and started playing with local bands at 15. He received early encouragement to develop his musical talent from his mother Betty and father Hymie, who also contributed with suggested lyrics and song titles.
Graham played with various Manchester bands before forming The Mockingbirds in 1965 with Kevin Godley (later a fellow 10cc founding member) on drums, and when the record label Columbia rejected Graham’s first single composition for the band, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The song, For Your Love, became a huge hit for The Yardbirds.
Working by day in a men’s outfitters shop and playing by night with his semi-professional band, Graham went on to write a string of hits, such as Pamela, Pamela for Wayne Fontana, For Your Love, Evil Hearted You and Heart Full of Soul (The Yardbirds), Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (The Hollies), No Milk Today and Listen People (Herman’s Hermits), and Tallyman for Jeff Beck.
In 1972, along with Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, he formed 10cc and enjoyed a string of Top 10 hits, including three No 1s – Rubber Bullets, I’m Not In Love and Dreadlock Holiday – along with Donna (No 2), Art For Art’s Sake and Good Morning Judge (both reaching No 5), The Things We Do For Love and I’m Mandy Fly Me, and The Wall Street Shuffle.
It’s the enduring popularity of these tracks, along with others such as Bridge To Your Heart from Graham’s time in Wax with the late Andrew Gold and songs from film soundtracks including Animalympics, that led to the formation of Heart Full of Songs. Needless to say, the band also features tracks from Graham’s acclaimed solo albums, And Another Thing, Love And Work, Play Nicely And Share and 2020’s Modesty Forbids,.