Slade Invades U.S. With a Sonic Blitz
Lynyrd Skynyrd,James Gang, Brownsville Station, Slade
SLADE / HOLLYWOOD PALLADIUM, 27/1/1974
Slade is having another go at America with its sonic blitz, and while Sundays Palladium concert was considerably more palatable than its previous shows here, the English quartet continue to undermine its potential greatness with an approach that constantly crosses the line to exhorting the audience into abusing it.
The notorious unstaid Palladium is a perfect situation for Slade, yet lead singer Noddy Holder didn’t perceptibly alter any of his obnoxious commands to the crowd, at one point even urging the people to get out of their chairs and shake various parts of their anatomies (there are no chairs at the Palladium).
His revival meeting interludes, blasted out in a grating Screamin’ Lord Sutch-style voice, inevitably cut the momentum and lends an undistinguished boogie band mentality to a group that is otherwise leagues beyond that level.
When the band finally did get into its songs, all was well. Slade has produced some of the most engagingly mindless singles of the past year, songs built around prodigious guitar riffs and clear rolling chord progressions. The tone is manic, the overall effect distorted and devastating, and the message eloquently pure rock ‘n’ roll - "Cum on Feel The Noize", "Get Down and Get With It", "Mama Weer All Crazee Now", (sic, sic, sic).
The one to watch is guitarist Dave Hill, who looks like a busy fly with the face of a ceaselessly grinning cartoon chipmunk. There’s a bit of mountain goat in him too, as he spends much of the show scaling amplifier banks, all of which embodies the attitude of silliness and high-energy abandon that finally makes Slade endearing, despite all the guff from Holder.
Getting the show underway was Al Kooper’s pride and joy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose dynamic set of earthy rock ‘n’ roll was cut maddeningly short. Sandwiched between Skynyrd and Slade were two hopelessly ordinary bands, Brownsville Station and the James Gang.
RICHARD CROMELIN. L.A. TIMES, 31/1/1974