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Resurrecting the Dreadlock Holiday

PUBLISHED: 12:15 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 17:14 16 August 2010

BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT: Graham Gouldman.

BACK IN THE LIMELIGHT: Graham Gouldman.

WHEN sideburns were cool and lapels were big enough to land light aircraft, chart-toppers 10cc ruled the airwaves. Since writing hits including Not in Love, Art for Art s Sake and Rubber Bullets, song writer Graham Gouldman turned his hand to writing fo

WHEN sideburns were cool and lapels were big enough to land light aircraft, chart-toppers 10cc ruled the airwaves.

Since writing hits including Not in Love, Art for Art's Sake and Rubber Bullets, song writer Graham Gouldman turned his hand to writing for bands like McFly.

But unable to stay out of the limelight any longer, Gouldman, Rick Fenn, Paul Burgess, Mick Wilson and Mike Stevens hope to storm the re-runs stage again with epic hits like Dreadlock Holiday.

The 1978 number one, allegedly based on an anecdote told by Moody Blues singer Justin Hayward, is an obvious belter.

But hum the Caribbean composition to someone under 30 and you'll probably get little more than a smile of recognition.

I had to admit to Gouldman that I recognised the tune primarily from its appearance on a 2 Many DJs album where it was mixed with Destiny Child's Independent Woman.

I ask him how he feels about that.

"Not great to be honest. But it's okay, I'll live.

"10cc were never a highly visible band, and that's been one of the problems along the way. The band members kind of faded into obscurity next to the tunes.

"Dreadlock Holiday was such a massive hit that people know it as a stand alone song.

"That one you know was a bootleg, and it worked fantastically," Gouldman added enthusiastically.

"We tried to get it released but Destiny's Child didn't want to have anything to do with it, which I thought was really dull. Spoil sports."

Since 10cc was formed in the rough streets of Manchester in 1970, the band created some of the most listened to pop songs around.

I'm Not in Love has been played more than three million times on US radio and has been covered by artists including the Fun Lovin' Criminals.

Enrique Iglesias also found 'inspiration' in the song when he penned Not in Love - but apparently it's not technically a cover.

"I didn't think much of it. We investigated making a claim on it but we were told it wouldn't succeed, so we have to live with it."

Alas, since the early '70s, when Rubber Bullets hit number one and Tony Blackburn rated Donna as record of the week, the band became a stranger to the charts.

With no new album since 1995, Gouldman is now grateful for fond resurrections of his work, like the bizarre use of Dreadlock Holiday on the surreal comedy show, The Mighty Boosh.

"I think it's fantastic. I like them," Gouldman trotted out before admitting, "Someone told me about it. I haven't actually seen the song myself. What do you think about it?"

I suspect Gouldman has never in fact seen a Boosh episode in his life.

Yet 'wrinkly rocker' is a title that doesn't rattle him - not simply because he doesn't play rock - but because mature bands are playing some of their best music yet, he said.

"As long as they don't humiliate themselves, then it's not a problem," he said. "A lot of them sound better than they ever did - people say we do.

"People say the Eagles sound amazing, Steely Dan too. I'm all for it, why should there be an age limit?"

A good question, yet entirely undermining it, I ask who Steely Dan are.

"Look... just listen to Steely Dan," he orders after a brief sigh. "Don't worry about what kind of music it is, just do it will you?"

It must be frustrating living amongst a generation that think Dark Side of the Moon is a Kubrick film about monkeys.

Fortunately, Gouldman is entirely upbeat when asked how he feels about performing his old material to crowds thirty years after it was penned.

"I love it, I still love performing, travelling, seeing the crowds.

"I think we're sounding mighty fine." he says with a smooth John Wayne twang. "That's just what people are saying, and I'm happy with it. That's why I'm still doing it."

Judge for yourself at Dartford's Orchard Theatre today (May 8) from 7.45pm.

For tickets priced £22.50 or £24.50 contact the box office on 01322 220 000.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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