Zoo Twilights with 10cc, Russell Morris
Melbourne Zoo
Friday, February 21

In the late 1960s when Englishman Graham Gouldman was honing his writing skills, a young Australian guitarist called Russell Morris was about to drop his debut, breakthrough song, The Real Thing, on an unsuspecting public.

Fast-forward a mere 50 years and Gouldman, with his current incarnation of 10cc, and Morris, with his crack blues band, proved the twilight of music careers can be just as thrilling as the early years, when inspiration comes with a rush.

10cc's Graham Gouldman (right) and Rick Fenn, on stage at Zoo Twilights in Melbourne.

10cc’s Graham Gouldman (right) and Rick Fenn, on stage at Zoo Twilights in Melbourne.Credit:Rick Clifford

This night at the hugely popular Zoo Twilights it was Morris throwing down a classic, albeit reworked live version of The Real Thing along with tracks from his more recent albums, including 2012’s Sharkmouth, bringing many in the relaxed crowd to their feet. Cheese platters and glasses of wine were briefly pushed to one side as the sun set, the amps cranked up and folks found their dancing feet.

There’s been more than a few members come and go from 10cc since the dizzy heights of 1977’s Deceptive Bends and the following year’s Bloody Tourists put the band firmly on the map, but the core of the group has remained the same for close to four decades. Guitarist Rick Fenn brought the swing in spades to Good Morning Judge, while drummer Paul Burgess sat in that deep, chunky groove alongside Gouldman’s distinctive bass sound.

Relative newcomer Iain Hornal bounced around the stage, sharing vocals with Gouldman and cracking dad jokes –”so, we’ve got a captive audience here tonight” – in between hitting the strings and some percussion duties too; none better than on the reggae hit Dreadlock Holiday.

Lights bounced off the trees surrounding the stage as other hits – I’m Not in Love, The Things We Do For Love and Art For Art’s Sake wound the clock way back and had the crowd singing along to some truly timeless tracks.

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