SLADE AT THE STARWOOD
An Elephant in the living room
SLADE / THE STARWOOD CLUB, LOS ANGELES, 15/4/1976
With the magnanimity worthy of a presidential campaigner, Slade has decided to get in touch with the people by playing small clubs on its last, gasp, U.S. tour.
Whatever the state of Slademania in the rest of the nation, the Starwood, (which the group favored on Wednesday and Thursday) is probably the only venue in Los Angeles that would have the eternally sputtering band anyway.
Right off the bat, the presence of the high powered quartet in a place the size of the Starwood, makes for an impressive spectacle, like an elephant in your living room. Another advantage is that the rowdy atmosphere Slade spends all its concert time trying to generate is there automatically, so we were spared Noddy Holders inspiring exhortations to abandon our chairs for rock n roll.
The floor was packed as it would be for Buddy Miles or Canned Heat, and there was plenty of space cases receptive to the groups crude energy level. With that setup, Slades decline can be laid at no ones feet but its own. The once bearable, even promising pop outfit paddles along doggedly, oblivious to the cement around its platform shoes.
Slades promise lay in three or four songs; inspired, vibrant pop rock powered by great song progressions and an engaging dumbness. On opening night, the group played one of them during the set, one as an encore and ignored its best, "Cum On Feel The Noize". The bulk of the show consisted of entirely trite rockers, most of them based on standard blues patterns, jacked up to maximum distortion level and capped with Holders chainsaw massacre of a voice.
Slades futility and persistence were momentarily amusing, but the group quickly achieved its inimitable blend of obnoxious manner and insipid music (and vice versa), destroying any lingering tolerance.
RICHARD CROMELIN / LA TIMES / 16/4/1976