A REGULAR and welcome sight in York, 10cc are a band with few peers.

Featuring three members from their Seventies peak, including one of their formidable four songwriters, Graham Gouldman, they remain a potent force live. Kevin Godley provided the accompanying film and sang on a pre-recorded video of Somewhere In Hollywood.

The band were simply superb, and the Barbican has never sounded better. Guitarist Rick Fenn, in particular, made it all look easy, and new singer Iain Hornall was the master of multi-tasking, playing a variety of instruments while singing beautifully.

As promised in The Press last Friday, Gouldman unveiled a new song: Say The Word, a co-write for Hornall’s new album that sat comfortably alongside the hits.

10cc provide great value, often in the space of a single song. Stylistically their hits are all over the map. Their material is ambitious, unfailingly tuneful and avoids the obvious.

York Press:

In the spotlight: 10cc co-founder Graham Gouldman at York Barbican. Picture: Paul Rhodes

Probably too clever by at least half, they flirted dangerously with pastiche to create novelty hits such as Dreadlock Holiday (present, as unfashionable as ever, but still great). Art For Art's Sake was fantastic; a winning pop melody bookended with classic rock stylings. At least three songs rolled into one!

While highly regarded by those who bought it at the time, the songs from 1974’s Sheet Music haven’t all aged well. A highlight of the record, Old Wild Men, fared less well in person, and Clockwork Creep was the sound of a group of young men trying too hard. In contrast, their debut single Donna’s reputation as a Beatle in drag was restored to her barber shop prime.

If 10cc are known to younger audiences at all now, it is through their soft rock hits. I’m Not In Love received the biggest hand. Despite being played to death, it remains a sonic tour de force unlikely to be topped. Gouldman has a rare gift of crafting hits in any musical style he touches, and with his former partner in crime Eric Stewart deserves to be regarded alongside other great pop writers such as Pomus and Shuman. On this form, unstoppable.