slade Noddy Holder manchester Free trade hall 1977 slade in englandNot ever having been a great Slade fan the thought of seeing them in 1980 in the claustrophobic intimacy of the Marquee made me wish I was anything but a journalist.

How could I write 350 words about Slade when I was convinced my first (and only) three would be "fuck-ing awful".

It was a surprisingly good turnout. Like full. A young crowd, mainly skins. This was encouraging - I could see my copy running to at least three lines now.

An ear shattering explosion, a burst of black and white stripes, a bowler hat, a nodding Noddy. Meet Slade, again.

They haven't changed, they look the same, they played a lot of the same songs (the new ones sounded the same), Noddy pulled the same dumb faces, but I didn't feel the same. They are a great rock 'n' roll band. I fortunately couldn't hear Noddy's frenetic nasal voice too well, 'cos I can't stand it (though I know it's the main attraction for others), but the band are something else.

They're such a tight unit: Jimmy Lea on bass and Dave Hill on guitar are great to watch, anticipating each other's every lick and nuance. Don powell on drums lays down a solid urhent beat which gave real depth to this wall of sound. It was all far too loud, though (I had a nose bleed), but the crowd turned deaf ears and ate out of Holders hand.

"Merry Christmas" brought the house down - and an amp - while "Gudbye To Jane" and " Feel The Noize" (not any more) probably brought down the house next door, as did the odd new number, which everyone seemed to know anyway.

If only I hadn't had my nose up someone's stinking armpit I'd have had a good time. As oit was, the set was far too long (though I hand it to them for stamina ) and decibel crazy.


Joan Komlosy / New Musical Express / 26 June 1980

Courtesy of Dave Kemp