SLADE - KINGS OF ROCK
Phil Holt - Disc 26/4/75
SLADE / BIRMINGHAM ODEON 20/4/75
SLADE'S shows have an atmosphere all of their own, and the nearest comparison is that of a football match. The fans bring along their scarves, rosettes, top hats and either chant impatiently for their heroes to emerge or just simply sing Super Slade.
Then, when the set gets underway, we have singing, shouting, stomping, swaying choruses of 'You'll never walk alone", all led by the Kop cheerleader in chief, Noddy Holder. The control he exerts over the crowd is amazing and as successful as ever -- he keeps the mood light and good natured with not a hint of aggro anywhere, Perhaps Noddy should be Tommy Doc's next signing.
The music itself fits neatly into this package storming along at a vast rate of knots and containing the simple but effective hook line -- either a riff or via the lyrics --- that have made Slade the undisputed kings of commercial rock.
All the old favourites were there, 'Gudbuy T Jane', 'Bangin' man', 'Everyday', plus a couple from the film, plus a couple of new numbers that fit into the Slade vein perfectly. The act itself was carefully structured with pedestals for Jimmy Lea & Dave Hill to mount and ramps extending out into the audience.
But any doubts that may have existed about everything being too arranged was shattered by the spontaneous energy of Slade's finale. This was a complete rock segment starting with "Let the good times roll" and finishing with "Get down and get with it" that shook the Birmingham Odeon to it's foundations. So Slade finished with a reception that they will find hard to equal anywhere in this country, never mind America.---------PHIL HOLT