GREAT BRITISH MUSIC FESTIVAL
SLADE / WEMBLEY ARENA, 29/11/1978
What a jolly old way for the street reared to spend a night: to roll up, blow a fiver on yer ticket, eighty pee on a programme, select your T-shirt, sweat shirt, badge, poster, souvenir, keepsake. The world of the big glamour biz banks at the wave's expense, at its leisure.
Wembley Empire Pool sucks as a venue for anything musical, a far cry from Dingwalls or the Marquee. On this occasion, it remains little more than half full, and most of the occupants seem to be police.
When Paul Weller says "We're gonna do a love song now, and if any of you are laughing, someone was stabbed tonight . . . . " before launching into ' I Need You', the audience bows into a deathly ironic hush. And the response is genuine, Paul Weller, being Paul Weller, doesn't push the point.
The Great British Music Festival. The Great British crowd violence we all know, love and can't do without . . .
From what I saw , this event was a triumph for the Jam, a triumph for Slade. And Generation X were awww - ful.
By the time I arrived, Berni Torme, Patrik Fitzgerald and The Pirates had been hastily ushered on / off stage, and Slade were blasting through 'My Baby Left Me'. I've never liked Noddy Holder's head splitting voice and this was painful nostalgia, kinda funny to see all those scarves and arms waving about, the halycon days of the teeny boom, on top of that, Slade piled oodles of solos, jams, lighting effects and daft raps about how "you paid yer f - - - - -g money, so have a good time!"
A best of Slade night. The new material don't exactly bomb, but it's pretty redundant nevertheless.
"Take Me Bak Ome', 'Goodbuy t' Jane', 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' . . . this band's reliance on old faves is pretty frightening. And when Noddy, on 'Get Down Get With It', sings "Let your hair daaaarn" to the skinheaded horde, you (or I) just gotta laugh.
They are powerful, they do have great visual impact, they are successful in their mission. The multitudes lap 'em up, and though I didn't get off on them at all, that hardly matters.
Unknown writer, unidentified publication, November 1978
From the archive of Slade In England
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