The GTK Footage '73

Australia January 28th, 1973

"I don't look at meters. I just turn the faders up to full ..."
Charlie Newnham.
"What an absolute classic!

It's things like that that makes us all love Slade. The Oz tour info from Jands is really interesting and explains quite simply what I've been trying to put into words for years;

When Slade Alive! was released here, taking into account that;
  • Colour telly wasn't here yet and there were no music shows on anyway - especially in the country areas!
  • You take into account the gatefold cover photo of Slade Alive! (the red and black cover)
  • You listen to the "toughness" of the music - Slade were indeed a heavy rock act at that time
Australian audiences must have been absolutely "bemused" by the outfits the lads wore on stage. Nod's mirrored hat, everyone would've expected him to be in a flat cap!

It was very interesting for me to read that perspective, being a kid from the country, I just assumed that the Oz Kids in the city must have known about Slade and the Glam thing?

Slade's first tour of Oz began 23 January 1973 when they left the UK for the long journey. It was a big old world back then and the band reported on it in their April/May newsletter;
"In Sydney it rained and everything was a washout ... the audience soaked to the skin enjoyed every minute of it. The same wet Sydney weekend Melbourne was both thirsty for rain and entertainment but a week later the black clouds appeared over Melbourne, there was a crack of thunder and down poured the rain. Everyone was convinced that Slade's appearance would have to be called off. Over 25,000 Melbournites stood for six hours in the pouring rain and waited for Slade. And when they appeared the crowd went beserk ..."
I am certain this is the gig filmed for GTK - hence Nod thanking everyone for "waiting in the rain". It could also be the Melbourne Showgrounds (which makes sense since GTK was shot out of ABC Melbourne). GTK stands for Get To Know (I only found out myself a couple of years ago).

The are two versions of the Slade in Oz footage, one complete (approx 8.5 mins), and one incomplete (approx 4.2 mins). Considering GTK in the 1970's, went to air between ABC TV's long running soap Bellbird, which was broadcast at 6.30pm, and the ABC Nightly News at 7pm. I reckon the 8.5 minute segment was the full GTK episode minus opening and closing credits.

The incomplete version is A1 digital broadcast quality black & white footage of the Get Down & Get With It performance taken from the GTK episode in question, and broadcast as Get Down & Get With It on ABC TV's Saturday overnight music show Rage.

RAGE is often programmed by "guest programmers" - usually touring overseas bands who go into the studio and introduce their fave songs and clips. I remember the night this went to air, the show was programmed by the Dirty Three. Warren Ellis (the Dirty Three violinist) introduced Get Down & Get With It as...
"...the record that got my Dad away from the record player ..."
...and added that...
"I've never seen this particular clip before."
I'm guessing has happened is that even though RAGE has played the black and white video of Get Down & Get With It where the boys get around in the big convertible car, and go climbing up the silo's, etc. the people at Rage extracted Get Down & Get With It from the GTK episode and screened it as a video.

The other version, which I believe is the full episode of GTK, is poorer quality and contains the Get Down & Get With It , plus interviews with people in the crowd, a gold record presentation (filmed I think, at the airport), a snippet of Hear Me Calling, and finishes with the band performing Mama Weer All Crazee Now at which point the stage is invade and the group are swamped with dancers.

During the encore, Mama Weer All Crazee Now...

...there is a stage invasion and the stage fills....

...but incredibly the band just keep on playing!

The audio is dubbed, and Get Down & Get With It begins mid way through the song when Nod's urging everyone to "get your boots on". You do hear Nod thanking the crowd for waiting in the rain and also urging them to feel up the girls during a "romantic number" which I assume is the live prelude to Darlin' Be home Soon. Nod's talking to the crowd is definitely live, and I can only assume that GTK substituted the live songs with recorded versions because the audio on the day wasn't good enough for broadcast, I am speculating though?

This footage though is definitely not filmed at Sunbury. It's even captioned...

"Slade live in Sydney"
However, during the middle of the full length footage, the film cuts to another location for about 10 seconds where there's approx 10 hippies standing around, and a caption comes up;

"Meanwhile ... at Sunbury"
It then reverts back to Slade playing. I've taken this as a tongue in cheek thing where the GTK producers are basically saying, 'here's Slade rocking out big time, or you could go to the Sunbury Festival' (which is just out of Melbourne). It's a parochial thing that only people from Sydney or Melbourne are likely to get. The bottom line is that this is where I think the confusion has come with the BBC crediting the footage as 'Slade at Sunbury'.

I'm certain Slade never appeared at Sunbury. It just did not happen!

This is all I can tell you about this footage, and you can judge for yourself with both versions of this footage."

Steve Cross

Many thanks to SteveClassic for supplying the info and media for this post. Now if we can just get you to pop down to the Sydney News Archives?

Duck on Last FM recalls the night that the RAGE edit was broadcast:
"On the 19th August 2006 Dirty Three were the guests that programmed RAGE. RAGE is a late night Australian TV show which invites bands or artists to pick their favourite music videos or just songs or video clips. It broadcasts on ABC TV during the night time hours.

At this time it was Dirty Three’s last full Aussie tour for the new album Cinder which was now a year old. Warren Ellis has joined Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and started a new band with called Nick CaveGrinderman. Jim White is playing for Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Beth Orton and Nina Nastasia so he’s a drummer for hire. Mick Turner has been the quietest but has had solo albums and painting exhibitions. Dirty Three have played together a few times but these shows are getting less and less. Since this tour they have done Chinese tour, curated the ATP festival in England and played festival shows in France, Spain, Australia and the last one being The End of the Road festival in England. The Dirty Three DVD which came out in 2007 and it’s the closest thing to a new album and a good music documentary and live show. Anyway here what Dirty Three picked that night -
  • Nina Simone - Revolution
  • Erykah Badu - Tyrone
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard - I Got Your Money
  • Cat Power - Living Proof
  • Deerhoof - Wrong Time Capsule
  • Art of Fighting - Reasons Are All I Have Left
  • Joanna Newsom - Sprout And The Bean
  • Art of Fighting - The Unappreciate
  • Smog - I Feel Like The Mother Of The World
  • Joel Silbersher - Through the manoeuvres
  • Tendrils - Soaking Red
  • Joel Silbersher - Flappin' On A Hook
  • Russell Morris - Sweet Sweet Love
  • Robert Forster - Baby Stones
  • Palace Brothers - Ohio River Boat Song
  • Crow - Railhead
  • Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin'
  • Them - Baby Please Don't Go
  • Canned Heat - On The Road Again
  • Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Ice Cream for Crow
  • Beasts of Bourbon - Words from a Woman to Her Man
  • Ed Kuepper - The Way I Made You Feel
  • Dave Graney with the White Buffaloes - Robert Ford On The Stage
  • Dragon - Get That Jive
  • Slade - Get Down & Get With It
  • Rose Tattoo - Rock & Roll Outlaw
  • God - My Pal
  • The Saints - Run Down
  • Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the U.K.
  • The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet
  • The Stooges - Loose
  • Laughing Clowns - Holy Joe
  • The Reels - Bad Moon Rising
  • Jimmy Cliff - Reggae Night
  • Bob Dylan - Things Have Changed
  • The Who - Can't Explain
  • The Birthday Party - Release the Bats
  • Einstürzende Neubauten - Halber Mensch
RAGE then played all of the Dirty Three music videos and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds videos followed."

Duck, 32, Australia

Randwick Racecourse 1973

Sydney, Australia, 28th January 1973

Status Quo

and special guests

27th January - Te Rapa, Hamilton Racecourse,(NZ)
28th January – Sydney, Randwick Racecourse
29th January – Brisbane, Lang Park Oval

31st  January – Perth, Subiaco Oval

03rd February – Adelaide, Wayville Showgrounds

04th February – Melbourne, Showgrounds
Support acts:
Sydney - Blackfeather 
Melbourne - Buffalo

Australia, January 28th, 1973

Alison Road, Randwick, Sydney

Located 5km from the city centre, Randwick is Australia's largest racecourse. Like the Hordern Pavilion, Randwick Racecourse was pressed into use as a concert venue after the demolition of the Sydney Stadium in 1970. The Hordern was Sydney's main indoor venue throughout the '70s but its relatively modest capacity (5,300) precluded its use by many 'big-name' acts. Slade would play there in 1974 on their second Australian Tour.

In the 1960s large outdoor concerts were unusual, concert amplification for rock music was still in its infancy and the PA systems available to The Beatles in 1965 were hopelessly inadequate (100 watts) when ranged against combined lungpower of 60,000 screaming teenagers. The invention of the Slave Amp (1966) followed by the ground-breaking sound system put together by audio engineer Alan Markoff for the Woodstock Festival, changed everything. Woodstock proved that rock music could attract audience of wholly unprecedented sizes, and in so doing it ushered in the so-called 'Stadium Era'. By the early '70s, events started to use large and powerful mixing desks and PA systems, as well as huge and complex lighting rigs.

Due to Australia's relatively small population, there were no large American-style indoor arenas, so when major rock tours began visiting Australia in the early '70s promoters were obliged to stage the concerts in large outdoor venues like Randwick Racecourse and the RAS Showground in Sydney. The shortcomings of this practice soon became obvious, poor acoustics and of course they were open to the elements.

Status Quo at Lang Park, Brisbane.
Photo by David Mulholland

This tour was significant to Australia in several respects. It was the only visit by progressive rockers Caravan and folk-rockers Lindisfarne, the latter having had a minor Oz hit with Fog on the Tyne in 1971. The tour was the first of many for the bottom act on the bill, Status Quo. Their popularity would eventually eclipse that of Slade, and bassist Alan Lancaster eventually settled there after he left the band in the late 1980s.

For UK rock legends Slade, who were then at the height of their fame, it was also their first tour but they had three singles in the chart and their LP Slade Alive had been top of the album charts for the past six months. It was still #1 when they arrived on the 23rd January 1973. Stepping off of the plane (pissed) they were greeted by a crowd of press and tv crews sporting 'a wheelbarrow' full of Fosters lager. The crowds averaged around 30,000 plus for Slade at the Race Course venues.
In Sydney, the Jands sound system was severely tested by Slade, who were legendary for the punishing volume at which they played. According to the Jands website, Slade's sound man 'Charlie' (Ian Charles) Newnham, took one look at the mixing desk and declared
"I don't use the meters (or the other controls), just push all the faders to the top."
After the first show, Jands' crew wisely moved the DBX160 limiters away from the mixing desk, installed them backstage and set them to protect the PA system! Slade spent a fortune on shipping their own personal rig (800 watt WEM PA) to Australia (and Japan which followed directly on from the Australia tour) and all over the world. They eventually built a second rig for their American tours which stayed in the country.

"They probably used the WEM PA for indoor shows in the UK but they played outdoors in Australia and the PA we (Jands) supplied was quite a bit bigger. However I notice that for all the other acts you can see our floor monitors across the front of the stage. In the pictures of Slade there are no floor monitors but there are some stacks on the side which are not ours. They may have used their WEM PA as side monitors."
David Mulholland - Jands
As with New Zealand, in Sydney, the outdoor concert was marred by heavy rain, which began at midday and continued until evening, despite the fact that Melbourne was in the grip of a drought at the time.

"...60,000 people in the, pouring rain, it hadn't rained for 30 years. All the newspapers the next day were saying SLADE brought rain to Australia."
Don Powell: 17th December 2012

Because of this, the order of performance was changed with Caravan appearing first, then Lindisfarne, then Slade and finally Status Quo. Normally Slade, the head line act, would have appeared last. Noddy Holder claims in his book, Who's Crazee Now?, that Melbourne was the only gig on that tour that was dry. In fact, due to no canopy, Status Quo got sunburnt during their performance prior to Slade going on last. This was certainly not the case in Sydney as the announcer can clearly be heard telling the audience that Status Quo will be on soon.
"They played the older songs because we were a little behind them in England. We caught up with their act by the next tour in 1974. When Slade toured here in '73, Slade Alive! was at Number 1 on the charts.... the album Slayed knocked it from the Number 1 position."
Anthony Tigani - Concert attendee
In 1973, the monster that was Slade had taken on a life of its own. The band members were 'shooting the rapids' trying to influence where fame was dragging them but mostly 'just along for the ride'. Chas Chandler had the unenviable task of trying to hold onto the reigns of the beast. He spent 1969 & '70 polishing the group into a professional rock band but in '71 they took off with Get Down & Get With It and Chandler wasn't ready. Early '72 he was struggling to hold it back, unsure how to market them. Consider the difference between the singles Coz I Luv You & Look Wot You Dun, and the album Slade Alive! all released in the UK within a six month period? I think Chandler tried to hold back the tide until he could find the right niche for the band but the flood swept them into the sea of Glam Rock and Top Of The Pops.

At this time remember, the world was a large place and it was difficult to keep in touch with what was happening across the planet. It took Billboard magazine a month to report the news that the Australian Musicians Union forced Slade to feature local talent on their tour.

Billboard: 24th February 1973 
It was a particularly interesting time for the band because they were just starting to explode in the UK, on Top Of The Pops most weeks in progressively outlandish costumes. Although Australia loved the music, it was probably barely aware of the 'Glitter Rock' revolution on that small island where the Queen lived. This was the year that Ken Watts brought Michael Shrimpton over to Melbourne to take over the ABC entertainment unit. Late in 1974, they would start a series of 25-minute programs at 6.25 p.m. on Friday nights. Countdown would be born and Oz Pop would never be the same. Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum had a huge influence in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The show introduced a lot of overseas bands to Australian audiences. Molly was in attendance on this tour (in Melbourne where he was abused by a drunken Buffalo) but at this time he was a representative of Go-Set music magazine.

In Sydney, the support was a local group called Blackfeather:

"Blackfeather were a great band (I had a couple of their records). Never realised they supported Slade! I bought the 45 of Boppin' The Blues when I was about 11. Great stuff indeed. I've actually met Neal Johns (vocalist) a couple of times over the years. They were a good local outfit though and I'll never forget them playing my school dance in the early 70's. AC/DC also played my school dance in their extremely early days, Bon Scott had been on board for about 4 months at that time!."
Steve Cross

Dave Hill's silver suit must have been a surprise?
Photo by David Mulholland

Back in January 1973 though, take a look at the sleeve on Slade Alive!... A simple bold red cover, no hints at all as to what the group looked like. Even the Coz I Luv You cover gave little away, all dark and moody (I suspect this was Chas keeping his options open again). Glam Rock was around but the crowds dressing like the band (the way they would a couple of years later for the Bay City Rollers) was definitely not happening. The Australian audience would have come expecting a proper Rock Concert and they would not have been disappointed. Gobsmacked maybe... but not disappointed?

The tour was, at least in part, in conjunction with Color Radio 4 IP although it was not broadcast. 4 IP was a popular AM rock station (FM broadcasting wouldn’t arrive in Australia until around 1975) who would have provided inexpensive (or even free) promotion for the concert. In return they would have got their logo on the ads, posters, etc. and a banner on the stage as you can see in the Brisbane, Lang Park shots by David Mulholland.

This recording reveals some interesting comments from Noddy Holder, several times he says
"We want to thank you all for waiting for us in the rain, you been great"
and the alcohol has obviously been available because his language is more naughty than usual. He was always near the mark' with his comments but during Darling Be Home Soon he says:
"I can't hear fuck all?"

...and he later says
"Somebody just hit me with something and it hit me right on the cock!"
...which had already earned him a backstage visit from the police in the UK. Just as well that wasn't broadcast on the Queensland airwaves? After Darling Be Home Soon he asks
"Can we get it up any louder?"
...this time in reference to the PA. and before Coz I Luv You...
"We usually get everybody to stamp their feet but it won't make no noise on the grass?"
At the end of the song he shouts...
"Oi, Oi, Oi! Hang On? All the security fellas, all the security fellas down the front, we don't want any rough stuff...." a bit of a panic, asking if the people involved are OK afterwards. The crowd barriers were inadequate at the time and security would be swamped with people trying to climb over them. Another part of the learning curve. It sounds as though they got a bit heavy handed and Noddy would make a habit of getting vocal about these occurrences which would eventually earn him a broken nose in 1978.

Particularly interesting from an sound system point of view, is the beginning of Get Down & Get With It, where Holder's voice causes the PA to squeal with feedback. There is some footage of this event which was broadcast on Australian TV and is remembered well by one of Oz's finest, Steve Cross.

  • Hear Me Calling
  • Look Wot You Dun
  • Move Over
  • Gudbuy T'Jane
  • Darling Be Home Soon
  • Keep On Rockin'
  • Lady Be Good
  • Coz I Luv You
  • Take Me Bak 'Ome
  • Get Down & Get With It
  • Mama Weer All Crazee Now

The Download Link is here: Download
Filename: Slade Archive 08.rar Filesize: 114.82 MB

At least 50% of this text was bastardised from the excellent Milesago site and the JPS site. Milesago has some great info on late 60's & 70's Australasian music. Jands Production Services deal with live entertainment, sound and lighting. Both have comprehensive and interesting history pages worth reading. I would like to pledge my undying love to David Mulholland, without whom, this would have been a far less interesting post. Many thanks for the photos and the info. As to the Banjo poem, don't take it as political, the reference in my mind was to Slade. Not so much a British Band as a Global Band, enjoy!

Scott Samuels has now re-qued this recording.

Te Rapa Racecourse

Hamilton, New Zealand, January 27th, 1973

Racing began in Hamilton back in January 1866. The Waikato Jockey Club was formed in 1870, and it took 45 years of discussion and argument before it was agreed that the Club's title should become 'the Hamilton Racing Club.' The Te Rapa site annually provides 20 racedays on the track, generating a total on and off course betting turnover of approximately $40m per season.  The Club is the flagship of the "Kentucky of New Zealand" Waikato region which contains the largest number of studs, horses and licensed personnel in what is regarded as the thoroughbred nursery of our country.

In January 1973, The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival became the first large outdoor music festival in New Zealand. It was held on a farm at Ngaruawahia on the Waikato River, 19 kilometres north-west of Hamilton, for three days from 6th to 8th.

It featured UK bands Black Sabbath and Fairport Convention and a host of Kiwi artists. During their set, Sabbath burned a cross on a hill, asking the crowd to hold their burning lighters in the air. Their guitarist also used somebody else's amp (unauthorised) and blew it up. New Zealand eccentric, Corben Simpson filled the headlines after he removed all his clothes on stage, it was reported nation-wide for the next few days.

Hamilton Times: Tuesday 23rd January 1973

Auckland's Hamilton Times then ran an ad announcing the next festival which would be featuring Slade (Britain's Hottest Rock Act).

In Sydney, Australia, the Sunday Herald announced the next onslaught. The First New Zealand International Rock Festival was to be held at Te Rapa at the racecourse in Hamilton.

Sunday Herald, 21 January 1973 p 37


By Robin Slade

"Having successfully negotiated The Great Ngaruawahia Music Festival we travel a little further south on Saturday to the Te Rapa racecourse and what is billed as 'The First New Zealand International Rock Festival.'
Presented by Force One International Ltd. a newly formed Hamilton company, the Festival has imported such names as Slade, Status Quo, Lindisfarne, Caravan and Blackfeather to perform, in the words of the company, "a curtain raiser for a gigantic entertainment revolution in this country."
While these names will probably raise no more than a sigh of overwhelming indifference in a great majority of the populace, they are nonetheless (especially Slade and Status Quo) names which have used up many miles of printers ink overseas.
Much of this ink has been used to spell out such words as "vulgar," "rude" and "lewd" and it's my bet that if Ngaruawahia achieved a certain amount of sideline notoriety for its on-and-off-stage nudity, Te Rapa could achieve much the same for obscenity.
Kid Gloves
Slade in particular, has a well-travelled reputation for liberally peppering their act with what is known as "obscene language" and have been heard to address the female members of the audience in a rather coarse manner when exhorting them to sing more loudly.
With Dr. Germaine Greer out of earshot, the thought of legal implications arises.
Indications from the police department in Auckland - a force of some 25 men will travel to Te Rapa to compliment the Hamilton police - are that the accent will be on the kid glove rather than the putting-a-sock-in-it approach.
"We'll take things very much as they come." said a police spokesman, "and providing the language isn't too bad, we'll probably let things go on, unless too many people start getting offended."
The police do not have to wait for a complaint before acting when language classified as obscene is used in a public place.
The organisers of the festival follows closely along the lines of its predecessor with security men at the checkpoints and supervising crowd control, offsite parking, medical facilities available, a prohibition on glassware and so on.
With music and security under control, it is fair to bet that Slade and Status Quo will be the favourites at Te Rapa next Saturday and that there is no chance of any outsiders getting in.
The only even money bet is fair weather. 

Slade (above) and Status Quo (below), who are to star at the First New Zealand International Rock Festival.

OK, so those betting on the fair weather were surprised to lose their money when the heavens opened and a deluge spoilt the day. Unfortunately, the promoters had gambled on the fair weather bet too. They hadn't bothered to cover the stage area and the performance area was open to the elements. Australian rock band, Black Fetoather, who were first to play, refused to perform until the stage was covered. The audience were left with a DJ supplying them with records, I assume his turntables were under cover somewhere. Some three hours later, the promoters finally got a tarpaulin over the structure and the festival began.
"I think it was Don that told me about this gig. The Slade roadies had to literally build the stage from nothing - it was made of crates and timber and was really low. To stop fans getting on stage the promoter had to employ an array of weird "bouncers" to stand in front of the stage and stop the crowd climbing up on it."
Dave Kemp

"Its all a bit hazy, it rained hard which messed things up. Some of the organization was a bit amateurish, the organizers rigged up a plastic tarp over the stage which was mildly effective. In fact that weekend I was on the way to the beach for a surf for a few days after the music so I had my wetsuit in the car. For the time when it rained really hard I put the wetsuit on and walked around the festival in the rain no problem. In fact I got heaps of comments about what a good idea it was."
Lloyd Godman: April 2010 

Hamilton Times: Monday 29th January 1973

Arrest made at festival 

"Only one arrest was made at the Te Rapa rock festival on Saturday, Hamilton police said today. 
A man was arrested on a drunkenness charge, but apart from this there were no major incidents, police said. 
Pouring rain spelled disaster for the festival, which started more than three hours late and lost, according to the promoters, up to $25.000. 
Many of the 5000 who arrived early in the morning spent their "free time" drinking beer from dozens of cars, and uniformed private security men were involved in several scuffles."

The only music heard at the Te Rapa rock festival before 11 a.m. today was from a mobile discotheque."

Rock festival 

'financial flop' 

"New Zealand's first International rock festival is a financial disaster, according to promoters. 
Only about 7000 of the expected 20,000 rock fans turned up to hear a top line of overseas rock groups at Te Rapa today.  
The exact number of people who attended the festival will not be known till Tuesday. 
Managing director at Force One International Ltd, Mr Nick Adrian, today said he would never promote a rock festival in New Zealand again.  
The tour, which Includes Australia, cost more than $300,000 to stage:
A total of $60,000 was spent on today's festival, and according to Mr Adrian, the company will not break even.
Up to 10,000 people would have to pass through the ticket boxes at Te Rapa racecourse before the company would break even. Mr Adrian said.
He attributed the failure to bad weather and apathy on the part of New Zealand rock fans.  
Because of a continual drizzle early today the first band to appear, the AustraaIian group Black Feather. was three hours late and did not start playing till 12.30 p.m.  
The bands were to play on an open air stage and refused to play till a tarpaulin was erected overhead.
Each group was conntracted to play for an hour and the music was expected to finish about 5.30 p.m.
Mr Adrian said, dollar for dollar, those fans who did show up at today's festival, got their money's worth. 
"Where else could you listen to top rock groups play for five hours non-stop, with no support groups?"  
The five bands are due to leave for Melbourne tomorrow."
A bit harsh on the groups, I think. Drizzle, I don't think so?
"By the time Slade were on stage - the weather had cleared up, even a little sun- blue sky and the organizers partially ripped the cover off so there were wires running across the stage above them where the cover had been supported. I remember that despite the conditions and the dampened state of the crowd, Slade managed to interact with the audience and build a powerful energy. They really had them rockin' from early on and kept building on this. The set was arranged so this energy built up and up and pulled the audience in, so the final number was a real crescendo and a highlight of the festival."
Lloyd Godman: April 2010 

So another grand slam for Slade, playing with the odds stacked against them. No mention of Quo's performance. It seems to have been a washout down under, I wonder if it poured down in Japan too?

Interestingly, Lloyd's photo has Dave playing left-handed. Fortunately, my editor pointed this out and the revised post has been corrected leaving Lloyd Godman mirrored instead.
"In terms of photographs, the stage was positioned so the light and sun was behind the band and it was difficult to photograph with the backlighting."Lloyd Godman: April 2010 

And that's possibly why there are no photo's of Noddy but in the grand scheme of things, that ain't so tragic.

My thanks for the use of the photographs © Lloyd Godman @ SOUNDZ, who is a genuinely nice fellow. A very big thank you to Susy at Hamilton Archives who did the research for nothing and Chris Selby who, as always, came up with the goods again.

A Night At The Palladium

London, 7th January 1973

1973 opened with a special one-off concert at the London Palladium. A massed gathering of the faithful that left the old theatre quivering on its foundations. 
The celebration was part of an eleven-day 'Fanfare For Europe' planned by the Tory government of Prime Minister Edward Heath, at a cost of $825,000. Among its flourishes was a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall, a 'Poets of Europe' reading at Lincoln's Inn, and a soccer match between all-star teams from the old Common Market Six, and the three new members: Britain, Ireland and Denmark.

New Musical Express: 6th January 1973

fanfare for europe



Sunday 7th January 3p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
We wish to thank our fans for their incredible response to these two concerts. Unfortunately, as both were completely sold out within days, we're sorry that so many of you had to be disappointed but we'll see you soon.
The 'one-off' gig consisted of two performances by Slade and, support group, Geordie, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. 
"It was part of various events to celebrate Britain's entry into the Common Market."
Chas Chandler: Feel The Noize 
"The first gig I ever went to was Slade at the London Palladium. I'd never experienced something so loud or seen girls that looked so glamorous and lads so excited....there were girls wearing hot pants, girls didn't wear hot pants in school, they wore school uniform. I thought 'Wow! What's going on here?'...."
Dylan White: Slade Fan
"Course, the London Palladium was everything, Tommy Trinder and all the famous people had been there, the revolving stage and everything. But not this night?"
Dave Hill: It's Slade!
"I said 'Your gonna have to clear all this stuff out of the pit coz it's gonna be pandemonium when we come on stage.' and the guy says 'Nah, we've had them all, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Judy Garland, we've had them all here.' You've never had a Rock Show here."
Noddy Holder: It's Slade! 

They came on looking exactly the same as they did on Top Of The Pops, literally twenty yards in front of me!....I can remember it as clear as day and it just blew my head away."
Dylan White: Slade Fan
"They had to call the fire brigade in.... the balcony was shaking...."
Don Powell: It's Slade!
"The balcony was going up and down...."
Jim Lea: It's Slade!
"When Slade were playing the balcony was moving up and down like a see-saw....the kids were all stamping their feet in time and it had the same effect as soldiers marching over a bridge."
Chas Chandler: Feel The Noize
"The kids came over into the orchestra pit... drums were going up in the air, sheet music was flying around, it was total chaos."
Noddy Holder: It's Slade!
"They wouldn't let me Dad in coz he was getting on a bit and they said: You can't come in here, they're going mad."
Dave Hill: It's Slade!

Sounds: January 13th 1973
SLADE'S AUDIENCES come reach to rock, and boy they sure do that. In the unusual surroundings of the London Palladium last Sunday the band's camp follower's packed the Palladium twice in a day for the band's special Fanfare For Europe concerts backed by Newcastle's Geordie.
The atmosphere, like the audience, is always something special when Slade are in town. Dressed in silver toppers, knitted hats, football scarf’s and waving banners, they age from pre-teens to middle fifties in fact. a football crowd without, thankfully, the knuckle.
Four piece Geordie, we were told had been specially requested by Slade to appear on the bill and no wonder, they gave the audience a good time and aimed for that special spot right between the eyes, They stomped about and joked and generally warmed up the Palladium’s customers for the big ‘un.
It only needed the slow lifting of  the fire curtain and slight rustle of bodies behind the stage curtains and the whole audience roared into expectant chanting "Slade", "Slade", “Slade".
In a flash and on they rushed, Noddy Holder looking more and more like one of the Diddy men than ever, All dressed as sparklingly immaculate as ever, they churned into some blistering stuff: ""Hear Me Calling", "Gudbye T’ Jane". "I Won't Let It 'Appen Again", Joplin’s "Move Over" with Jimmy Lea’s thick bass and drummer Don Powell taking the wheel.
Then came the "slow sexy one. "Darlin' Be Home Soon" This heralded a more extended chat with the audience from Nod who went through the now familiar football routine and got the frantic fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone", a thick wall of weaving bodies with raised arms in salute of their heroes, very accessible heroes at that too.
Back to the thundering rockers: "Take Me Bak 'Ome ", "Get Down And Get With It", enough time for Noddy to introduce Stanley Baker" in the Royal Box, asked if everyone was "alright?" and still control their incredibly precise act. That might sound strange when considering Slade's spontaneity but make no mistake they're in complete control of things.
They flitted back for their encore" "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" and then, as the fire curtain trundled down again, the stage was left without life - just the usual Slade flotsam mingled with the amps, silver covered jump boxes and a drum kit: hosts of silver toppers, a collection of small glitter projectiles and the enevitable bevvy of knickers and bras.
 Boy. I'm getting a bit tired of Slade gigs. Not the music. not the atmosphere of the whole affair or the boys' act - merely the fact that after standing for an hour clapping, singing and stomping along with the fest of the crowd and leaving with a hoarse throat. I know I'm going to have to face it again and ~again - oh, what a way to go. - BILLY WALKER.
The Fan Club newsletter was very late in covering this since they covered two months at a time and, so as to get in before Xmas, they had a Dec/Jan newsletter. This went out before the 'Fanfare For Europe'  announcement and so it wasn't mentioned until Feb/March newsletter.
Slade Fan Club Newsletter: Feb/March 1973
On the 7th January Slade played to two full houses at the London Palladium. It was the first time they appeared at the World famous variety Theatre and at the special request of the British Government. The event was promoted as part of the celebrations to mark this Country's entry into the Common Market under the heading of "Fanfare for Europe". They were originally booked to do only one show, the Box Office having sold out within 2 hours of opening, it was decided by their Manager, Chas Chandler, to hold another concert in the afternoon on the same day. 
Even before Slade took the stage the enthusiasm of the crowd was already at a high pitch when Jim, Nod, Dave and Don bounded out onto the stage, the whole of the London Palladium rocked and one could not help but wonder if the builders when building the Palladium ever imagined their Theatre swaying in time to the music being played inside. I bet some of them turned over in their graves. Once Slade started to play there was no room left for any other thought but Slade. 
Up"tempo hit followed up"tempo hit with only a couple of moments when the group dropped out of top gear, once when Nod sang "Be Home Soon" and the other when he went down on his knees to preach to the faithful during Janis Joplin's "Move Over", bathed in a single spot which picked up his mirrored stovepipe hat and sent beams of light flashing across in already mesmerised audience. The audience was always beehind Nod and the reaction was instant when he said stamp 
feet and clap hands. The response was equally enthusiastic for the Football song "You'll never walk alone", which I think was about the best I've heard it sung by a Slade audience but then the champions were on stage. 
Opening the bill were Geordie, a four man group from Newcastle who recently scored with "Don't do that" and on the strength of their Palladium showing will go on to become Headliners in their own right before long. 
Walter Gibbons built the Palladium in 1910 to compete with the Hippodrome and the Coliseum. It was a circus venue and an ice Skating rink before being redesigned by Frank Matcham, a famous theatrical architect. The Palladium had its own telephone system so the occupants of boxes could call one another and a revolving stage. The theatre retains many of its original features and became an English Heritage Grade II listed building in September 1960. After Slade's performance the balcony was found to be cracked and much of the seating destroyed.
"After the show half the seats downstairs had been wrenched from their sockets. They didn't invite us back."
Chas Chandler: Feel The Noize 
".....we were banned from that chain of theatres. From then on, we were never allowed to play there again but we warned them!"
Noddy Holder: It's Slade!
Photo by Steve Wood/Express/Getty Images

My thanks, as always, to Chris Selby for hours of research, Dave Graham for his assistance and also, thanks to Dave Kemp for inspiration and motivation. 'It's Slade' is a 1999 BBC Manchester production which can be viewed here.