SLADISM is here to stay
SLADE / GREENS PLAYHOUSE, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND 31/5/1973
Slade are back from their triumph, yes triumph. in America, as cult leaders of frightening proportions. From now on it's SLADISM and you too can be a Sladist if you can stand on your seat, wiggle your arse, and join in the hysterical ritual that goes with every concert.
They must be the biggest band in the world right now. Even The Beatles or the Stones could never have generated this much excitement, said someone at Green's.
In their hotel, before the first gig of the tour at greens Playhouse, Glasgow, the group are still full of their States visit.
"You can arrange anything in America with just a phone and some money," said Noddy.
"Yes," adds Dave laughing. "We changed our hotel four times in Los Angeles and still the groupies found us - it was almost terrible!"
The States tour was as demanding as usual. Slade played 33 dates during their six week visit. They also recorded their new single in Los Angeles and made two coast to coast TV shows - In Concert and Midnight Special.
"Of course," said Noddy, "nothing's happening musically in the States, theres all the different head groups but only Focus have broken big in the last few months. We haven't had a smash hit yet in America so we did a lot of promotion on local radio. It worked so well in one place that a D.J got the sack for playing too much Slade music."
Just before returning to Blighty their last British single, Cum On Feel The Noize, had just entered the hot hundred. the band feel that their next tour in August will really establish them on a nationwide basis. As Dave said " You can be number one in Chicago and die a death in San Francisco. But" he added proudly, "every place we played asked us to come back, regardless of whether we drew 200 or 20,000 people."
A typical contrast on crowd size was their first visit to Canada - one night they played in a small club in Montreal to about 500 people, but drew 19,000 in Toronto - don't be surprised if they get a big musical award there.
On the subject of big audiences I asked Noddy if he was worried about their last tour date here, at the 18,000 seater Earls Court. In reply he mentioned a date in melbourne, Australia, where they played outside to 45,000 people, while a thunderstorm raged. "If we can win that many people under those conditions we think we should be O.K. here at an inside show."
But watch out for some very special surprises at Earls Court - the lads have shock tactics planned and they're determined not to fall foul of the sound problems that David Bowie experienced. The group actually gave themselves two and a half days off before starting this British tour. Then Chas Chandler and super roadie "Swin" arranged for a small party of us men of the press to fly to Glasgow on Thursday for what turned out to be an epic occasion.
A police escort to the show seemed a little extravagant but after the struggle just to enter the theatre we realised it was essential. In the dressing room the roaring and stamping from above suggested a typically wild crowd. Dave started to tune his raygun "Superyob" guitar. " It's great to hear the roar of a home crowd," said Don Powell.
Meanwhile up on stage things are starting to happen. the Alex Harvey band, supporting Slade for this tour, are finding it hard going. They are playing as well as ever, but only Slade can quell this crowd.
There are dozens of mirrored top hats in the first few rows reflecting around the solid jammed hall. The chant starts up: WE WANT SLADE. St John Ambulance men sigh and start to pick up the fallen.
A couple of spotlights go on, the crowd surges forward, and on walk Noddy, Dave,Don and Jimmy to a deafening roar. Immediately Noddy is working with the audience as he leads them into Take Me bak 'Ome. half the crowd settle for leaping about, the others stand on their seats. Everyone sings along.
Such enthusiasm. It means something very special to these fans and the group are absolute heroes here tonight. Their first number is received like most other bands' encores. How do you follow that? Well, Noddy screams into the old Janis Joplin number 'Move Over Baby, with Jimmy's bass and Don's drums pinning the sound.
Dave in flashy "Superyob" outfit is leaning over and teasing the crowd on one side and Noddy does the same on the other. It's getting wilder and wilder, and seats are collapsing everywhere. As the number ends Noddy pleads with the security men not to be so rough with the people at the front.
The frenzy continues with Gudbuy T' jane, then, a new number for the band, Just want A Little Bit ( A track on the next album). After an invitation to get closer and have a quick feel of each other, the group harmonise on their "slow sexy number" Darling Be Home Soon. A short high guitar break from Dave, then it's spotlights on the audience and the whole football crowd/You'll never Walk Alone sequence. Greens could have put Wembley or Hampden park to shame on Thursday night.
Genuine footstomping rock n roll next with the whole worlds going crazy. "It's a kick up the arse for anyone not singing," says Noddy, and the chorus gets louder and louder. Jimmy's bass is featured on Let The Good Times Roll and you begin to wonder if it can get any wilder.
It's total audience participation, it's showy, it's professional and it works. It's getting a bit warm for Noddy so he invites everyone to take off their clothes - Dave Hill first of course. But seconds later Cum On feel The Noize allows the riot to continue with full vocal backing.
Noddy puts in a quick plug for the new single Skweeze Me Pleeze Me, and adds that the group don't play it on stage yet. A slight groan from the crowd so Noddy asks, "How about this one?" and intros Get Down And get With It with instructions all the way. "Clap your hands" - Stamp your feet" -"Everyone sing Alright."
To the mass chants of "Alright", the band went off and came back after a raucous chorus of 'Nice One Noddy" from the audience.
They encored with Mama Weer All Crazee Now and that was it.
A real triumph for body music and Sladism.
A siege of the dressing room followed by a fight to the car with fans blocking the road ended this incredible night. As if to prove this was no freak reception the show the following night at Edinburgh continued at the same level. Although the group didn't go on stage until 1.30 a.m. the response was again rapyurous. Even a steel barricade across the front of stage was insufficient to stop girls throwing themselves over. Dave and Jimmy were both grabbed by fans while playing. Unfortunately the bouncers just couldn't tell the difference between fans and Slade's road crew and at one point it began to look like a pitched battle.
Afterwards Dave summed it all up: "Scotland's a special place for us but if the rest of the tour goes like these first two shows,everyone's going to have a lot of fun."
A.Y - RECORD MIRROR - 9/6/73