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London palladium 1973 slade fanfare for europeSLADE'S AUDIENCES come ready to rock, and boy they sure do that. In the unusual surroundings of the London Palladium last Sunday the band's camp follower's packed the Palladium twice in a day for the band's special Fanfare For Europe concerts backed by Newcastle's Geordie.
The atmosphere, like the audience, is always something special when Slade are in town. Dressed in silver toppers, knitted hats, football scarf's and waving banners, they age from pre-teens to middle fifties in fact. a football crowd without, thankfully, the knuckle.

Four piece Geordie, we were told had been specially requested by Slade to appear on the bill and no wonder, they gave the audience a good time and aimed for that special spot right between the eyes, They stomped about and joked and generally warmed up the Palladium's customers for the big ‘un.

It only needed the slow lifting of the fire curtain and slight rustle of bodies behind the stage curtains and the whole audience roared into expectant chanting "Slade", "Slade", “Slade".

In a flash and on they rushed, Noddy Holder looking more and more like one of the Diddy men than ever, All dressed as sparklingly immaculate as ever, they churned into some blistering stuff: ""Hear Me Calling", "Gudbye T' Jane". "I Won't Let It 'Appen Again", Joplin's "Move Over" with Jimmy Lea's thick bass and drummer Don Powell taking the wheel.

Then came the "slow sexy one. "Darlin' Be Home Soon" This heralded a more extended chat with the audience from Nod who went through the now familiar football routine and got the frantic fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone", a thick wall of weaving bodies with raised arms in salute of their heroes, very accessible heroes at that too.

Back to the thundering rockers: "Take Me Bak 'Ome ", "Get Down And Get With It", enough time for Noddy to introduce Stanley Baker" in the Royal Box, asked if everyone was "alright?" and still control their incredibly precise act. That might sound strange when considering Slade's spontaneity but make no mistake they're in complete control of things.

They flitted back for their encore" "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and then, as the fire curtain trundled down again, the stage was left without life - just the usual Slade flotsam mingled with the amps, silver covered jump boxes and a drum kit: hosts of silver toppers, a collection of small glitter projectiles and the Inevitable bevvy of knickers and bras.

Boy. I'm getting a bit tired of Slade gigs. Not the music. not the atmosphere of the whole affair or the boys' act - merely the fact that after standing for an hour clapping, singing and stomping along with the fest of the crowd and leaving with a hoarse throat. I know I'm going to have to face it again and again - oh, what a way to go.







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