Slade's Noddy tells me about Scottish 'riot'

Sue's Page: New Musical Express, August 28th 1971
NME August 28th 1972 large
Radio Luxembourg POP NEWS....August 5. 1971 reported: 
"Slade fans in Scotland caused a near riot when 500 of them were locked outside a Slade gig in St Andrews recently. The 500 crossed the Tay Bridge only to find a ‘members only' notice outside the club. Police arrested 30 protesting fans."
SLADEMANIA?? Certainly looks like it! The Slade's Noddy phoned Club 208 from Scotland to tell us more about it. ...

SUE: Are the fans really reacting in this fantastic way?

NODDY: Yeah, it's quite frightening at times. I mean they do get slightly out-of-hand now and again! But basically since the success of ‘Get Down And Get With It' the Scottish fans have been marvellous! Sorry about those guys and gals who couldn't get in at St. Andrews, but it was nothing to do with us.

SUE: What about the next single? Will it be comparable to Get Down And Get With It?

NODDY: It will be slightly more melodious than the last but it will have the same audience participation' feel about it. Y'know building up to a right rave-up at the end of the record.

SUE: I've noticed that on stage you do tend to drop in the occasional deep' song, such as Nights In White Satin.'

NODDY: True We'll be using the electric violin and things on this next single at least on the song. We hope will be our next single!

SUE: Will it be a self-penned song this time?

NODDY: We do about six of our own compositions on stage and wrote the B' sides of our last two singles. This time we're writing the A' side too.

SUE: What kind of audience are you reaching to?

NODDY: Well, we grew our hair long in order to reach as many people as possible. We are aimed at the masses. Every pop group should be. Our main aim, on and off stage, is to have a good time and see that everybody else enjoys themselves too!

SUE: I'm sure they will, Noddy, I'm sure they will!!! Thanks for calling....

NME August 28th 1972 text large

sexy divider

'When Their Hair Finally Grew'

Disc and Music Echo: August 14, 1971
Disc,1971,Pil Symes
Slade-or when their hair finally grew 
"A YEAR ago a lot of people back home walked on the other side of the street if they saw us coming so they didn't have to talk to us," says Dave Hill, never-ever serious lead guitarist of Slade. "But now with 'Get Down And Get With It' in the chart, they come up to Us in the street, shake our hands and say things like 'How you doing mate? Nice to see ya.'."
But that doesn't surprise Slade for they’ve never had it easy, They were launched three years ago on what seemed the perfect gimmick; they were announced as "the first skinhead group" at a time when boots and braces and shaven heads were the "in" thing.

Yet, somehow, they didn’t take off, as they should have.

They were banned from halls by promoters afraid of riots, spurned by members of other groups and suffered more knocks than almost any other group you could think of.
"People thought we were just a put-together group," says lead singer Noddy Holder, "and we became known as just a skinhead group. No one wanted to listen to our music. At first the knocks didn't bother us but when they went on and on, and the people knocking us were the ones who hadn't bothered to listen to us, it got a bit much."
So how then did they finally manage to convince enough people of their talent to get their -third single high in the chart? The answer is hard work and plenty of it. They've been working six, sometimes seven nights a week, gradually building a following by getting audiences raving wherever they've played.

Party nights

“Most nights it's like a party," says Noddy. "Instead of trying to educate the audience like a lot of groups nowadays, we try and get them to feel part of what's going on. The visual aspect of the act is very important to us. - In fact 50 per cent of the act is visual. the other 50 per cent concentrates on the music."
Their act has always been popular because of the atmosphere they create live. So they figured if they could get that same feel on record they'd have a winner. So that's what they did with "Get Down And Get With It”
"We tried very much to get the excitement of the stage act on the record and I think we succeeded. That's why it was a hit. We could do it on stage and the kids could go away and buy it and get the same thing. That’s what we want to try and do on the next album: not necessarily do rock and roll songs but get the same feel as the single."
The next single, they say very definitely, won't be another rock number.
"We don't want people to think of us as a rock and roll band. We write a lot of songs, ballads as well as ravers, and want to do mostly our material."
But the single won't be a ballad either, "because we couldn't do much with that on stage. We feel we always have to be doing something on stage."
"Slow numbers, we feel, are real downers.” says Noddy. "We like to keep moving but we do a couple of slow things like "Nights In White Satin" because we dare not leave them out now our audiences have got to know them. But If we do a slow number we have to fool around while we're doing it. We’ll belch or something. We don't want to be pretentious and the slow things aren't us. We'd hate people to think we're preaching to them. We just want them to have a good time."
They emphasise though, that rockers they may be, but they also believe in melody.
"At the moment," adds Noddy, "we’re not as heavy as we want to be on record but we’ve got to think of the radio. We wouldn't get our records played if they were any heavier."
A live album by them is an obvious possibility.
"But," says bass guitarist Jimmy Lee (who complains they never show him on Top Of The Pops), "it would probably be a complete shambles. Completely chaotic. The kids get so involved and leap about so much that leads would get broken and the sound wouldn't be all that good. But it might be an idea for us to do an album half live and half studio recorded."
Slade's main concern now when they get on stage is to create an atmosphere, to create excitement.
Says Dave: "It all started one night we all got drunk and went on stage and had a good laugh. The kids all dug it and we enjoyed it. And that’s the way it's been since. Not that we need to drink before we go on stage! But now we're a lot more confident.
"We've got to the stage where we feel if you don't like us you don't like us and it doesn't bother us.”
Slade no longer dress like skinheads but their dress still attracts a lot of attention. They've gone from one extreme to the other. Now it's all bright colours, boots, dungarees and other such eyebrow-raising costumes. But that's all part of "showbiz."

Cheap group

"That's what's lost out of this business," says Jimmy Lee, who incidentally has taken up playing the fiddle in the hope that it will bring him in a few more camera shots. "All the flash has gone out of groups. You've got to give the audience something to think about, something to look at. You've got to give them value for money."
"That's what the skinhead look was all about," says Noddy. "We were hoping to get the same effect, but we found a lot of people didn't dig that. As we look now we're gelling over to more people. Before the people either liked it or they didn't. But we're not knocking it. It was something we did and tried and it was a laugh at the time.”
"But now that we've broken through," says Noddy, "we're not going to out price ourselves like so many groups do when they have a hit. Those that have been nice to us we'll play for at the usual price. But those that knocked us . . . we're going to do them for every penny!"
Phil Symes,

Disc,1971,Phil Symes

sexy divider
A big thank you, as always, to Chris Selby for supplying this superb article.

Slade In Scotland

New Musical Express: August 7th 1971
NME August 7th 1971 large
"A two-day festival is to be staged at Bearsden in Scotland, adjacent to the Kilmardinny Riding School, on September 4 and 5. Cat Stevens, Lindisfarne, Curved Air, Brinsley Schwartz, Bronco and the JSD Band are among acts appearing on the Saturday. Set for the Sunday are Roy Wood with the Electric Light Orchestra, Slade, Uriah Heep, Skid Row, Merlin and Beggars Opera."
Slade were to play on the Sunday while Lindisfarne played Saturday. In little more than a year they would share a tour of Australia. Coz I Love You would be written and recorded within a month but at this moment they were still plugging Get Down & Get With It. I'd love to know what was in the set at this time.
Interesting to see Roy Wood with The Electric Light Orchestra. I assume they were one act at this point and this was during the period where he found he couldn't share the limelight with Jeff Lynne?

NME August 7th 1971 large

Meanwhile,
"... Slade fans riot at club
The presence of Slade caused a near riot in Scotland last week, when over 30 fans were arrested outside the Cosmos Youth Centre in St. Andrews. Over 500 fans had crossed the Tay Bridge from Dundee to attend Slade's performance, only to find the doors of the centre closed and a "members only" notice posted.
Police herded most of the youngsters back over the bridge, but some were charged with obstruction in the process. Meanwhile, Slade played to 1.000 inside the club."
sexy divider