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Slade slayed 'em

- without trouble





slade Don Powell Earls Court 1973The place: Scarborough's Spa Grand Hall, summer haunt of elderly ladies in flowered hats, absently knitting while the light orchestra plays "Trees".

The time: 10 o' clock on Sundat night.

The atmosphere: Supercharged with music, light and excitement, over 2,000 throats yelling at full pitch and making absolutely no impression against the hundreds of watts of sheer sound belting from the stage.

Britain's biggest selling pop group, Slade, are reaching the cresendo of their non stop 90 minute stage act. Having whipped up the hysteria to a fever pitch, they are skilfully manipulating the crowd with crashing renditiond of their past hit records, making unexpected stops to reveal that the whole hall is singing the words to each one.

It is, without doubt, the most successful pop concert in Scarborough since the Beatles came to the Futurist way back in the sixties - and in one way it is better than that.

Slade's sound system -- something like £80,000 worth of amplification gear -- ensures that every word of every song can be heard (felt almost) and makes the equipment used by the Beatles then seem almost comically primitive.



The 200 odd tickets not sold in advance have been snapped up by people who have been queuing for some hours, and every one of the Spa's seats are full - though most of the audience seem to be standing up, stamping, clapping and singing along.

It had started more than three hours earlier in a carnival type of atmosphere as the youngsters - many of them wearing big decorated top hats of the type sported by Slade's lead singer Noddy Holder, and others with rosettes and Slade scarves -- piled onto the Spa.

Up and coming progressive band Beckett played a very good 45 minute warm up spot, and the crowd applauded politely, but made it clear that they wanted Slade.


slade Don Powell Earls Court 1973And they got them -- loud and clear in both ears. Brash and colourful, eccentrically dressed...but above all, loud. Slade played all the songs they had been waiting for 'Gudbuy 't jane' , 'Just want a little bit', 'Everyday'. Noddy Holder in tall black hat decked with flashing mirrors even had them bellowing 'You'll Never Walk Alone'

He screamed, "You're not going to sit there all night are you? Get up and move about!" but the good natured crowd kept to their seats. It took a song called 'We're really gonna raise the roof' to get them on their feet, and well over 200 crowded to the front of the stage , straining to touch the shoes of their idols.



Some fainted in the crush - five went down during 'Cum On Feel The Noize' -- but alert stage assistants hoisted the casualties onto the stage and returned them to the auditorium via the side door when they had recovered.

Treading firmly on the only sign of violence, when an encroaching youngster was roughly repelled by one of the 25 specially hired stewards, Holder warned "We'll 'ave none of that now, cool down and move back a bit" and they did - he could have told them to jump in the sea and they would have obeyed.

The atmosphere is thick and sweaty. The frenzy reaches its climax, and Slade finish act at the peak. They go off, but return to insistent shouts of "We want more"

'Weer All Crazee Now' is the show stopper, and when that ends everyone seems just too drained to demand another.

Suddenly it is all over. The hall empties, and the road crew start to dismantle the amplification gear, carefully stepping around five sobbing girls who slump at the front of the stage, crying quietly and hoplessly "Noddy" and "Dave"

Slade have slayed Scarborough and slipped away quietly to their hotel. The act will follow pretty much the same pattern tomorrow night, at Hanley.

For organiser Frank Boyd it is a happy moment. "I'm delighted," he said. "I've been round with the corporation officials, and there's no damage. No one was hurt. It's been a terrific concert."

You would have to look very hard to find anyone to disagree with him.




Article courtesy of Chris Selby, Slade In England chief historical researcher.







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