"Was a time, not so long ago, when the thought of a group of Skin'eads muscling in on the Festival scene would have been enough to make any self-respecting freak hurl his Woodstock badge to the floor and beat his sleeping bag in sheer fury.But, my friends, times change and now Slade are all set to belt out their own brand of rock on Sunday.Oh, but I'm forgetting Slade AREN'T Skins anymore, are they? Silly of me. That was last year... or was it the year before? Anyway, the point is that they have grown their hair and that changes everything.Well, I'm sure they are going to really get a lot of reaction from the crowd. Their manager, Chas Chandler, says they've never yet come across an audience they couldn't get through to.He sounded very confident. So you Great Western people had better look out. Slade intend to grab you right from the start - I'm not quite sure where - and refuse to let you go until they power to the end of yet another masterful and dynamic set. Sounds quite nice, doesn't it?They aren't planning anything special for the Festival. They'll just play it as it comes. But doubtless the one who gets accused of swearing well he will be telling you to shout and scream and stomp and generally make a complete idiot of... I mean generally have a wonderful time with the boys. Indeed, I sincerely trust you will get down and get with them.And when the deed is done and Slade have succeeded, the field will be buzzing with excited chatter and I will be feeling vaguely sick.Slade are great if you think they are. What more can I say?"TONY NORMAN
A nicely balanced write-up from Our Tony, after nearly three years (October 1969) and many public admissions that they made a mistake, the NME's self-appointed 'Witchfinder General' is still hell-bent on burying Slade. This total rant is a doozy though! Pigeon's are flocking in their thousands as Tony's story goes to print and they're home to roost a few days later. Hey Tony, don't fret, I'm told it's lucky?
"Well, I'm sure they are going to really get a lot of reaction from the crowd"Yep! You betcha....
"I sincerely trust you will get down and get with them."And they did, with great delight by all accounts...
"And when...Slade have succeeded....I will be feeling vaguely sick."I guess you must have choked on it Tony and gone to that grey newsroom in purgatory reserved for critics such as yourself?
"What more can I say?"
"SORRY" would have been a good start, closely followed by, "I wasn't being objective and I got it all wrong. It's official, I'm a hateful twat! Please forgive me and I'll try to make amends."
Anyway, you were of no consequence and Slade did exactly what they said they were going to do and history records the Great Western Festival as a great day in their career.
Of course, NME later sent Julie Webb, among others, to climb on board the good ship Slade. I would like to find out exactly what was behind the extreme hate campaign against Slade in the few years before 1973?