The Netherlands, Spring 1972

The Netherlands, April 1972

I think it's a dyke?

No, not her, the water. She is Mariette, she was 21 in the picture and she could well be a Slade fan. Wot! It's 1972, that's The Netherlands, she's typical of the era. It's the best I could find for now. So, until I find some relevant early 1972 pictures from the Netherlands, we have Mariette?

Slade were playing in Europe long before they became popular. They had been part of the Pop & Beat Koncert Festival broadcast on Radio Nordring, from Helgoland in Germany, all over Europe including Denmark. The show was billed as a European "event" where rock groups from many countries were included. 

There is, at present, little evidence of European tours before April 1972 but it is claimed, and believed, that they were playing regularly out there. By the end of 1971 Slade had become a hit group with a #1 chart hit and a new album that looked set to smash the album charts. Look Wot You Dun was released at the end of January. It reached #2 in the Netherlands, the highest charting Dutch single throughout the groups entire career.

On the strength of this, Chandler wanted to capitalise, use the momentum. The group had waited a long time for their break and he didn't want to miss it. Unfortunately, it looks as though he was uncertain how to proceed. Summer 1971 had been spent writing and recording material for a new album which was delayed and then shelved. Instead, Chandler found he had a new pop/rock image and song writing formula to sell, and sell he did. .
"There are very few bands who can come across on TV with the kind of visual impact which will communicate itself to the audience from a small screen but Slade can do it."
Chas Chandler - New Musical Express
: June 24th 1972
In the summer of 1971, Slade had a whole album ready to go but suddenly, all change. The September newsletter was skipped with a lame excuse, I think Chandler pulled the album release when he chose a different path for the band. For some reason, an album called Coz I Luv You was released in Holland in early 1972, This album, although official is not a finalised new release, containing some tracks from Play It Loud, which suggests that it was meant to buy time. Since the album contains two hit singles and was probably released alongside Look Wot You Dun, it likely served it's purpose well raising interest in the group and getting them radio airplay in Holland.

Radio Veronica
The famous Dutch offshore pirate radio station, Veronica (which boasts a story worthy of a screenplay) started out in April 1960 broadcasting from a 50 year old Lightship, the Borkum Riff. The station acquired a growing audience becoming popular as a real rock station. The Verweij Brothers used a Hilversum PO box to communicate with the public. The station became a joint effort by Dutch & English staff originally aimed at a British audience. The programme director, Joost den Draaijer (who would host Popgala in '73), took pointers from Radio Caroline and Radio London and also introduced car stickers and tee shirts.
By the mid 60’s, the first live Dutch broadcasts began from the Borkum Riff, including the first Top Forty programme on Dutch radio. Soon after, the Norderney took over from the Borkum Riff. The home of Radio Veronica was now anchored off the coast of Scheveningen.

During 1970 Radio Veronica raised over 1,000,000 Guilders for the Kidney Foundation of Holland, they also paid the same amout to Radio Noordzee International to cease broadcasting but RNI resumed broadcasting from the radio ship, Mebo II

After much arguing and court action it was apparent that Noordzee would not be stopped legally. On the 15th May 1971, two men climbed aboard the Mebo II, set light to the engine room and it later exploded. After some arrests, the "Veronica blijft als u dat wilt" (Veronica stays if you want it) campaign was launched, and received more than 2,000,000 post cards pledging support.
In September a magazine, Veronica 192, appeared to promote the station and, later that month, two Veronica directors and three divers were sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for the bomb attack on Radio Noordzee International
Into this craziness came Slade, their European Spring Tour taking in a handful of Dutch venues. Fortunately, the interest probably helped spread the word, with their dates advertised in the Veronica 192 magazine.
"We've really used the Continent as a yardstick to measure how we could crack the States." said Chas. "We managed to do it in Europe by making ten major TV appearances and that is the way I want to do it in America."
Chas Chandler - New Musical Express: June 24th 1972 
The group had built an avid fan base across Europe and it seems they were destined for success, especially Holland and Germany, whether they made it at home or not.

The ‘Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso’ opened its doors opened on March 30th, 1968. The goal was to offer an open place for creative talent. From that day, the old church on Weteringschans became a place that attracted young audiences and artists from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. Paradiso established and retained it's position as Holland's major pop podium, leading club and a cultural centre, all in one.

Paradiso, Weteringschans 6, 1017 SG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Noddy was enthusiastic about the group's following now in Europe.
"We did a few live appearances and did as much TV as we could," said Noddy. "On one of our dates in Holland they had to bring in the local fire brigade to hold up the balcony, the kids were stomping so hard."
New Musical Express: June 24th 1972

Piece in Oor: 1st May 1972
"The performance which the American band, Spirit, were to give on May 1 at the pop festival in Hilversum Exhibition Hall, has been canceled. The organizers are trying to book the American group, Pacific Gas and Electric, in their place. For the festival, all the English groups, Slade and Van der Graaf Generator, and neder-pop groups, Solution and Dizzy Mans Band, are confirmed."

OK, this page is a work in progress. I have been waiting, nearly a year, for some more info that has failed to appear. If anybody can help out I'd be very grateful. Thought's, suggestions, etc. I think that there must be some coverage on the Hilversum Popfestival, at least, even if Slade don't get a mention, a poster and a local paper review maybe. There is an Autumn Tour page but there must be some Spring related media somewhere, I await your feedback?

Thanks to Jaap Zandee for the Veronica 192 dates, also much has been stolen from the very interesting page, The years of Radio Veronica by Jim Parkes. If anybody has any info regarding Spring 1972 in The Netherlands, please get in touch?

Dutch Tour: Spring 1972 (known dates)
27/04/1972 Youth Club, Holland 
28/04/1972 Paradiso, Amsterdam (Jellybread)
29/04/1972 Rijn Streekhal, Alphen Aan De Rijn
30/04/1972 Passage Theatre (Nacht), Schiedam
01/05/1972 Emmeloord , The Netherlands
01/05/1972 Hilversum Popfestival , The Netherlands
(Slade played in the exhibition hall with Solution, Van Der Graff Generator & Dizzy Man’s Band)
03/05/1972 Return From Dutch Tour 

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