I say, old man, even $lade admit that it's noi$e
SLADE / AUDITORIUM, CHICAGO 21/6/74
SLADE GOT introduced Friday night at the Auditorium as "Britain's top group." And having apparently conquered Britain, the boys still trying to break the market here with noticeably less success. It was their third try in Chicago, and as with earlier concerts, the place was less than packed, but those that did show up were hard core Sladists- or masochists, depending on how you look at it.
Slade, a band spawned in the British "skinhead tradition" of working class boys in cropped heads and suspenders. They are, to tell the truth, just awful. In fact, Slade comes across in many ways as Britain's retaliation to Grand Funk Railroad, the scarcely as popular, and as bad as they are, or maybe because they're so wretched, they're almost fun to watch.
To Slade's credit, the boys' reach never exceeds their grasp. They have their formula and they stick to it, song after simplistic song. But like most formula music, a little goes a long way, and it doesn't take more than a few numbers before it's all too apparent everything is going to sound just alike. It does, from 'Take Me Back 'Ome' (Slade titles their songs in downhome drop the aiches dialect) to 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now,' their hit single, and 'Cum On Feel the Noize.' Even Slade admits it's noise.
THE IDEA, see, is to get everybody to feel the noise and get crazy. To this end, lead singer-guitarist-composer Noddy Holder, spruced up in ridiculously high platform shoes, black and white checked suit and mirrored top hat, screams a lot urging everybody onward, even when he's introducing the songs, "And now we're going to do 'Gud By to Ja-a-a-a-ne.....', This one's called 'Feel the Noi-i-ze'....'Let the Good Times Ro-o-o-l!"
Meanwhile, Noddy's clumping around stage in those silly shoes, drumming up enthusiasm, while the quartet's guitarist and other flash dresser (decked out in some sort of get up that makes him resemble one of those vegetable men that always was trying to take over the submarine on Voyage Of The Bottom The Sea ) urges the crowd to heights of ecstacy by pointing a lot and smiling continuously.
I do hope they're not hoping to make it on their sex appeal. Noddy looks like something out of Dickens, and the smiling one resembles an affable, if slightly retarded chipmunk, but a friendly one. And he's probably not nearly as dumb as he looks. On the sides of his six inch platform boots, there was a huge red dollar sign. Slade really know where it's at.
Openers for this noisy affair were another British group, 10cc, which specialises in bouncy harmonies and delightful rock 'n roll with frequent twists of humour. "Sand in my face" for example, was inspired by ads for Charles Atlas body building courses, and it's full of references to bullies, beaches and of course, "dynamic tension." Unfortunately for 10cc, the audience had not come for humerous subtleties.
Lyne Van Matre, Chicago Tribune, Monday June 24, 1974
Photograph George Robinson
Article researched and sourced by Official Slade historian Chris Selby
Slade in England © 2015