English 'Slade' Has Good Feel
SLADE / RIVERSIDE THEATER , MILWAULKEE 29/1/1974
WHO SAYS that rock 'n' roll hysteria died with the '60's?
"We're all crazy," screamed Noddy Holder, guitarist in Slade, England's top pop group, and a sellout crowd at the Riverside Theater Tuesday (28/1/74) screamed back in agreement.
From the first sullen crush of hundreds in front of the late opening Riverside, to the last Chuck Berry style encore played by Slade, the concert was archetypal rock 'n' roll show.
All the elements of the rock ritual were present: performers strutting and posturing onstage; delirious devotees obeying every command to shout, clap or stamp, and squads of police waiting nervously for the madness and noise to end.
Brownsville Station, a three piece band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, began the evening's entertainment with the indispensible wall of amplifiers and 18 piece drum kit. The groups main tactic was getting the audience to scream "Yeah" as often as possible.
Popular In England
Slade, the top billed act of the evening, has replaced The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as rock idols of England. The group is not nearly as popular in this country however, and has so far failed to break into the US record charts.
The British quartet came on backed up by an even bigger battery of amplifiers than the preceding group, looking and acting like space age hooligans straight out of "Clockwork Orange." Lead guitarist Dave Hill in his roundhead haircut and knee high, six inch platform boots seemed fully qualified to pilot a UFO. And singer Noddy Holder was garish as a Dickensian rogue in his plaid britches and waistcoat, improbably set off with a mirrored top hat.
Slade's style, for all its frenzy, was smooth and controlled and the crowd was soon ready to let its hair down as instructed by Noddy Holder.
It was during original songs such as the chugging Stones like "Gudbuy t' Jane" that Slade came close to deserving the fervour that they ignited. But then that's a strictly musical judgement. Any rock fan worth his vinyl will tell you that how the music sounds is not as important as how it makes you feel.
Slade Felt Good.
By Stephen Wlest, Special Correspondence, Milwaulkee Journal 30/1/1974