slades Noddy Holder Hollywood Palladium 1974The top local appearance to date of ZZ Top, Texas rock, blues and boogie combo, packed (the) Felt Forum Saturday (22), with the Bill Graham-Phil Basil concert in association with Barry Fey, a hot ticket. Although the clincher may have been the addition of Slade, to the bill, the crowd was clearly ZZ Top's.

Slade, British rockers fronted by screeching Noddy Holder, gave one of their best ear shattering performances including numbers from their new Warner Bros. album. Holder only badgered the crowd to stand and otherwise in the closing "Get Down and Get With It", rather than throughout the set as heretofore.

But the good response was hardly as warm as the reception the headliners got. ZZ Top, who are mining platinum albums for London these days, also scored when Billy Gibbons, strong lead guitarist and vocalist, asked some character in the audience to stop throwing firecrackers since Gibbons had seen someone struck by one. He tried less successfully to get some in the front orchestra [to] take their seats so those behind them could see. Also impressing musically, in their tight high-powered set, which ran for an hour, as did Slade's, were bass guitarist-vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard.

But many booed when the lights were turned up, apparently expecting more music as promised earlier by Gibbons, who had indicated a long evening was in store. However, the trio, who have been registering impressive b.o. elsewhere, especially in the south and southwest, appear ready to do likewise in Gotham.


Kirb, VARIETY, 26/11/1975