slade JIMMY LEA HAMMERSMITH ODEON 1978They say the tempo of life is speeding up. And so it is, as Slade demonstrated at the hammersmith odeon on saturday night. The good old days are now only half a decade in the past -- the nostalgia gap gets smaller all the time.

Though by no means a packed house, the Odeon audience was at one with Noddy and the lads -- and this was both good and bad. It was good because Slade needed a welcome. It was bad because some of the audience were too fanatical to give the support band The Brakes, an even break. The Brakes are sort of middle of the wave, and they put down a tight, good humoured set, the best number of which was their last, "Bits And Pieces." The energy they displayed on stage just goes to show how things have changed since Slade were riding high --- Slade, the great high energy band of their time, came across almost lethargic by comparison.

Between announcements concerning their happiness (and relief?) to be back at 'Aammersmiff, and after quite a lot of "Take Me Bak Home," "Goodbye T'jane," "get Down And Get With It," and "We're All Craze Now," Slade reeled off their new anthem, "Give Us A Goal," which will be of considerable interest to rabid footy fans and of no interest to anyone else.

Perhaps there is some fundamental comment on our times in the spectacle of an audience scrabbling for rolls of toilet paper during a rock concert.

It seems we English take a perverse delight in wasting our best rock singers --Roger Chapman springs to mind, and now Noddy Holder. Shaved heads and violin solo's do not great music make, and it is a shame that a singer of Holder's talent, originality and force is bogged down in such a mire of sound and fury. I guess that's show biz.

One last word: praise to the staff of the Odeon, who battled to keep order with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of tolerant discretion. Well done you courageous few.



photo courtesy of Dave Kemp



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