Rude But A Riot

New Musical Express May 20th, 1972

The paper ran this review of Slade's May 14th gig at the Civic Hall, Guildford with Status Quo in support. Reading this article, you could be forgiven for thinking Slade were the support band, such is NME's reluctance to praise the band. In little more than a week they would take the Lincoln Festival by storm and opinions would begin to change. 

Whoever thought of putting Slade and Status Quo on the same bill must need his brains examining. True, both bands are very talented - but nothing is more guaranteed to start a riot than a combination of both.

Needless to say, so far the tour has been a tremendous success - Status Quo drawing in the heads and older ravers, and Slade bringing in the young boppers.

I wonder if the organisers of the hall at Guildford last Sunday knew what they were letting themselves in for. They'd obviously employed numerous jobsworthys who, during the early stages of Status Quo's act, were urging everybody to sit down.

Still Status won through - as one might expect. Mike Rossi, looking like an arch type rocker, denim jeans rolled up at the bottom and high heeled black leather boots, is the one who controls the audience and encourages them to let rip.

Certainly the band work bard. The first number "Juniors Wailing” set the audience off but it was their third number “In My Chair", perhaps one the audience were more familiar with, that really got them at it. Status have improved 200% on the last time I’d seen them, some eighteen months ago and it is hard to recognise them as the band who four years back were coming out with teeny singles.

Their best number is the one they close with, "Is It Really Me", simple and with a very basic sound, tailor-made for those who want to get up and freak. By this time in the proceedings, the jobsworthies who bad previously been loitering with intent, had either given up or been stampeded underfoot.

This is the band’s best number in that they seem to be able to wield a lot of control over the audience, building them up to a frenzy and slowly letting them down again. Certainly they make the audience work hard.

Slade are a band who never fail to excite the coolest of crowds and Sunday was no exception. Lewd, rude, loud and very proud, they even have a professional way of being vulgar.

An excellent PA and a capacity hall provided a perfect setting and the first number "Hear Me Callin'" had the majority of the audience crammed up against the stage. Holder is the one who controls everyone with his million watt voice. Looking like a character out of Andy Capp land, he prances around the stage. Dave Hill, looking like a reject from Apollo, scatters those at the front with silver dust. Even Jimmy Lea who, until recently, had been the quiter one of the group, has come to the fore and one of the highlights of their Sunday act was violinist Lea giving his rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown".

One of the things that draws an audience to Slade, and sets them apart from other bands, is Holder's ability to talk to the audience in a way that is harmless enough but by innuendo is exceedingly rude. I wonder if they overstepped the mark on Sunday, Holder telling the fellers "if you want to take your trousers off do" and then adding "if any young ladies fancy taking their knickers off, that's OK too."

At one particular point in the set, where they get the audience participating with the "Yeah" bits, Holder tells the ladies in the audience they are not singing loud enough, asks them to have another go and adds "Open your legs a bit wider".

Still, rude remarks apart, Slade are a musically excellent band. Apart from the rockers "Keep On Rocking" and "Look Wot You Dun", there was John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon", which always goes down well for them. And their new single released this month "Take Me Back 'ome" is another stomper that had the whole hall bopping.

Closing number was "Born To Be Wild" - and that just about sums up Slade. Wild and outrageous they certainly are - and entertaining too. Rock on. - JULIE WEBB.

The previous week Noddy was visited by the local constabulary at their Green's Playhouse (later Glasgow Appllo) gig on 11th May. The complaint here was that he had used 'the F word' on stage and the audience was mainly young teenagers. The NME ran this in the same edition a few pages earlier, I believe that they were doing their best to make it as negative as they could.

Noddy Holder on
'obscene' charge
Slade lead singer Noddy Holder was charged in Glasgow last Thursday with using obscene language during the group's act at Green's Playhouse. The charge was made shortly after the group had left the stage. Manager Chas Chandler commented: "Naturally we shall deny the charge and Noddy will plead not guilty." Holder informed the NME that, when cautioned and asked if he had anything to say, he replied: "It's a load of old ****."

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