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Slade a bit far out

for Portland tastes





"S" is for the sedulous attack on the senses perpetrated by Noddy Holder;

"L" is for the limelight this band seeks;

"A" is for the auricle and associated anatomy;

"D" is for the decibel level that bombed "A" , and "E" is for the exit of the audience members who couldn't dig S,L,A and D.

Put them all together and you have one of two things: The reincarnation of the house band at Bedlam, or a quartet of young, primitive English rockers collectively called Slade.

One of the miracles of the rock world is its attention to all the tangents (or tentacles) of its Slade corporate soul. Anyone can listen to any band he likes: as time goes on, new types bring on new styles. And every band wants to be another Beatles or Stones.

Slade has captured some of those bands' appeal in its native Britain, at least so far as the trade rags would have you believe. Ballyhooed as No 1 Slade is, and for what reasons you ask. Well, don't ask. The band is the loudest, most mind bending quartet to hit these shores. And Slade is into glitter with odd costumes that look like they could be extensions of the attitudes developed in the book about kids, "Lord Of The Flies" or rejects from Oliver twist (lead singer Noddy Holder looks like a juvenile Artful Dodger).

Slade appeared at the Paramount Northwest Saturday night to play for about 1,400 people. "Play" is mentioned here within the literary licence granted music reviewers as the musical licence is granted to Slade, which, while not really abusing it, pushed it into a corner for 50 minutes.

To some of those leaving, Slade was a travesty on the English flashy style of rock 'n' roll, a style that seems embedded in Britain and personalised through far out stage costumes and mannerisms. At least Led Zeppelin can play, and the Rolling Stones can move mountains with one chorus of "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

Slade to be fair is still rock 'n' roll. When Noddy Holder finishes his ultra loud screaming at the crowd to sing along, or clap along or just be a member of the mob at the front of the stage, the band gets down and fashions a groove of rhythm. But it's all rhythm, all beat, all animalistically aimed at moving the outer portions of the body, not exercising the inner grey matter with analysis of what makes Slade explode.

Slade's material comes from several sources, their own, American blues, Janis Joplin, British "heavy" to name a few. But if anything stands out more than the loudness and costumes, it's these four young lads exuberance. If the show was less than satisfying from a musical standpoint, it was more than satisfying from an entertainment view. They never gave up the act, never insulted anyone, never allowed the relative lack of early enthusiasm from the audience to get in the way.

It wasn't David Bowie ~ but it wasn't bad.


John Wendeborn, The Oregonian, May 21st 1973


From the archive of Chris Selby

Ticket Slade In England

Slade in England © 2015




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