Graham Gouldman of legendary band 10cc performs in Stockport as part of the town’s Town of Culture year

Graham was at the War Memorial Art Gallery for an intimate conversation and Q&A session

Graham Gouldman of legendary band 10cc performs in Stockport as part of the town’s Town of Culture year

Stockport Council were delighted to welcome music legend Graham Gouldman to the town’s War Memorial Art Gallery for an intimate conversation and Q&A session with music, last Friday (24 November) as part of their town of culture programme.

Graham Gouldman is one of Britain’s most successful songwriters and was one quarter of the Manchester band 10cc, who ruled the airwaves in the 1970s. He was also one of the first financial investors in Stockport’s Strawberry Recording Studios in 1968 and remained a partner and director in the Studio until the 1980s, helping to cement Stockport’s place as the premier location for bands of all types to record in the North of England.

This is the first time that a member of 10CC has performed in Stockport since the original line up split up in 1976.

At the sold-out event, Graham performed 10cc hits Bus Stop, No Milk Today and I'm Not in Love. He discussed his long and varied career with Dr Peter Wadsworth, but in particular the time he spent recording in Stockport.

The evening ended with a Q+A session, led by Dr Peter Wadsworth, who has researched the Studio’s history since the 1980s. The audience included Peter Tattersall, the man who started Strawberry Studios back in 1967. Peter tried to catch Graham out by asking him about the car he had driven to the Studio back in 1967 but Graham replied with the make, model, colour and registration number of the car, much to Peter's amazement!

Graham also visited Stockport Museum, where he saw the Strawberry Studio display and mosaic, commissioned for the 50th anniversary exhibition, for the first time.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “This was a fantastic evening as part of our Town of Culture programme and it was fascinating to hear Graham reminisce about his early career in Stockport and the legendary Strawberry Studios. The fact that we can attract artists such as Graham to the town, after seeing thousands of visitors flock to the town centre to support our Spectacular Sunday event last weekend, is testament to our great reputation and the quality of events on offer.

“The exhibition at Stockport Museum is well worth a visit for anyone interested in music and how Stockport has contributed to music history.”

Dr Peter Wadsworth said: "It was an honour to welcome Graham back to Stockport for the first time in over 30 years to discuss his career and the music he wrote and recorded in Stockport as part of 10cc and of the Strawberry Studios team. It was also great that Graham was able to visit the Strawberry display in Stockport Museum ahead of his visit to the Art Gallery so that he could see the impact Strawberry had on both the town and British music history."

Graham Gouldman said: "The town has changed so much since my last visit but was lovely to be back. Without Strawberry then 10cc wouldn't have existed so we have a lot thank Stockport for."

The Strawberry Studios displays include a number of interesting artefacts, such as 45 rpm discs, badges, amplifiers, music cassettes, brochures, post cards and the original sound equipment used by producer Martin Hannett. A mosaic on display includes 10cc, Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Neil Sedaka and Ian Brown and is a testament to the importance of Strawberry Studios and some of the famous names who made music there.

The iconic venue also features on the Stockport Music Map, which will take you on a fascinating journey through the town’s musical history, with over 200 hand drawn illustrations from local artist Emily Flanagan. The map features the stories of music legends that visited and played in Stockport including David Bowie, Elton John, Lemmy from Motorhead, Jimi Hendrix and more, from the 1950s all the way through to the present. The map is available for purchase at Stockport Museum.

Entry to Stockport Museum is FREE. It is located at 30 Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1ES. Opening Times: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5; Sundays 11-4; Closed Monday and bank holidays.