Fun, fun, fun as Slade
SLADE / CIVIC HALL, WOLVERHAMPTON 6/5/1977
"Welcum 'ome supa Slade" read the banner, waving precariously among the swaying, cheering crowd, as the Wolverhampton rockers made a triumphant return home. And it was as if they had never been away.
The whole audience was on its feet at the first chord, and on the seats by the third song, and they stayed there for the next hour and a half.
For Slade have one commodity that few bands possess - the ability to make people have fun. The music is fine - it's loud, beaty, and there is a wealth of hit material to choose from as well as the songs from their new album.
But it's not that that makes everyone jump around and smile so much, its the intangible Slade charisma which makes everyone start enjoying themselves the minute the band walks on stage.
Of course it would be hard not to smile at Dave Hill with his completely shaven head, or Noddy, in his pirate hat and his knowing grin as he sums up the audience. Dave, especially, with his guitar hero poses and his ability to laugh at himself is enough to get the crowd going.
After that, the beat does the rest, and the old hits roll out to the cheers and waving and dancing of the crowd.
It really is a tonic to see everyone having so much fun, and it's only now that they've returned from America that we can see what British rock has been missing for the last two years.
Because, although the act has changed in content, it still contains the basic ingredients to make peole laugh and enjoy themselves.
And that's a lot better than being spat upon by a punk rocker any day.
In support were Liar, a new band fronted by Wolverhampton singer Dave Burton, formerly of Fable.
JOHN OGDEN, EXPRESS & STAR 7 MAY 1977
From the archive of Chris Selby
Slade in England © 2015