Reading Festival 1980

Richfield Avenue, Reading, August 24th, 1980

Reading 1980 Camera Logo!

Reading Festival 1980
Sunday 24th August

"I had attended the previous 4 festivals with my mates and the highlight for me this time around was to be the appearance over the weekend of some of my guitar hero's, Gary Moore, Pat Travers, Rory Gallagher and also Krokus. This was to be a heavy metal festival, a celebration of the NWOBHM with the likes of Def Leppard, Tygers Of Pan Tang, UFO, Samson, Budgie & Praying well as established acts like Whitesnake and Ozzy Osbourne."
Dave Graham: Slade In England
Slade are regularly quoted as standing in for Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard Of Oz but Gary Moore's G Force, who were meant to perform immediately before Ozzy, also dropped out. The first act of that day, The Pencils, had their equipment stolen the night before and they were also unable to play.

"...all my Christmass's came at once when I heard the rumour that Slade were replacing Osbourne. It was, as Tommy Vance pointed out, a magic magic moment."
Dave Graham: Slade In England

Slade actually replaced 30% of the days entertainment and considering that a further 30% was made up of Sledgehammer, Girl and 'rave from the grave' Budgie... Tygers of Pan Tang were up and coming and Magnum were established and reliable. Def Leppard were considered a 'Sell Out' at the time and most of the Sunday audience would have been there for Whitesnake, Ozzy & G-Force.... they were left with a long day, Whitesnake and Slade.

Slade done particularly well that day!
"Slade stole the show for me, totally blew the place away. I remember talking to some peope next to us who couldn't believe how good they were, Dave Hill climbing up the P.A.coloums, singing Merry Xmas in the middle of AUGUST great times indeed...."
Jeff Gibbs: 'Not a Slade Fan'
"Slade just did what they had been doing for the last few years, they didn't need to do anything else. Slade had nothing to lose and they didn't expect to win. You can't beat a bit of Black Country stoicism."
Chris Selby: Slade Historian
"...My overriding memory AFTER Slade played was Def Leppard being canned 20 minutes into their set as the crowd chanted 'we want Slade'."
Dave Graham: Slade In England
It must have seemed like deja-vu for John Peel. He'd previously been at Lincoln in 1972 where he'd expected Slade to die a death before the crowd of long-hairs. He was dumbfounded at the way they stole the day back then so maybe he had an inkling they could do it again?

"The audience recording was first sent to me a decade ago by chief Slade researcher in Canada, Steve Marsh. At certain points in the gig you can hear random sounds from a PA and certainly some very out of time drumming...for those who have never been to Reading it needs to be pointed out that there are two stages side by side, while one band is performing the next act usually has their stage set up, including sound checks believe it or not...these are the sounds you can hear every now and again as Def Leppard's roadies were preparing their stage as they were the band with the unenviable task of following Slade. For the record, Slade played the 'second' (right hand) stage!"
Dave Graham: Slade In England

The Download Link is here: Download.

Songs from Slade's performance at Reading have been released many times, including these Bootlegs:-

UK, 1980's - Vinyl, LP, Album, Unofficial Release
Love Situation - zoom 47

Heavy Satisfaction

The Sleeve Cover notes gave the wrong information for this release, as it was actually the edited "Slade Alive At Reading, 24th August, 1980" Concert that they printed (and not the Concert for the 29th of August, 1980!)  The correct full Track-listing on the actual LP is, as follows:-
A1. Take Me Bak 'Ome
A2. When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'
A3. Wheels Ain't Coming Down
A4. Somethin' Else
A5. Pistol Packin' Mama
A6. Jim Lea Violin Solo
B1. Keep A Rollin'
B2. You'll Never Walk Alone
B3. Mama Weer All Crazee Now
B4. Get Down And Get With It
B5. Merry Xmas Everybody
B6. Cum On Feel The Noize

And this Special Twentieth Anniversary Edition:-

Officially, there was this EP released in The Netherlands and Belgium:-
1980 - 12" Maxi-Single
WEA Records B.V. - WEAL 28. 164
For the details, click on Discogs.
A-Side (from the UK "Six Of The Best")
Night Starvation
When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'
Nine To Five
Not Tonight Josephine
B-Side ("Alive In Reading '80")
When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fightin'
Born To Be Wild
Somethin' Else/Pistol Packin' Mama/Keep A Rollin
There was also this version released in The Netherlands:-
1980 - 12" Maxi-Single
Barn WEAL 28 164
For more details, click on here.

Here in the UK, two Maxi-Singles were released and both were minor hits.
3rd October, 1980
Cheapskate Records CHEAP 5
This record reached Number 44 in the UK Singles Charts, and remained in the charts for five weeks.

The New Musical Express were less than favourable with their reviews of the two Reading EP's and even misprinted the second of the two as "Xmas Ear Benders CP"?

5th November, 1980
Cheapskate CHEAP 11
This EP only reached Number 70 in the UK Singles Charts, only remaining in the charts for two weeks.

Both of those EP's were eventually released on CD format in 2006, on the "Slade Alive! - The Live Anthology" Double CD.
21st August, 2006
CD1 contains the 1972 Slade Alive! and the 1978 Slade Alive, Vol. 2 albums, whilst CD2 contains the 1982 Slade On Stage album, along with those two "Reading" EP's!
In fact, the only officially-released live tracks not to be included in this collection were the "Merry Xmas Everybody (Live & Kickin')"  1982 B-Side and "Take Me Bak 'Ome" (Live from Reading), which was on the 1982 "Ruby Red" 7" Double-Pack!

Thanks to many who contributed, knowingly or not, to this post. Much was blagged from this excellent site, The UK Festival Archive, run by a shy 'non profit' collective, out of love. Many thanks to Dave Graham, the man responsible for much of Slade's unofficial media, and Slade In England.

Next Page

Somethin' Else / Pistol Packin' Mama / Keep A Rollin'
( Cochran - Dexter - Holder - Hill - Lea - Powell )

1-2, 1-2-3
A-look a-here, here she comes
Here come that girl again
One of the cutest since I don't know when
She doesn't notice me when I pass
She goes with other guys from out of my class
It don't stop me from a-thinkin' to myself
Sure fine lookin' man, she's somethin' else

A-look a- here, what's all this
There's a car made just for me
To own that car would be a luxury
Right now babe I can't afford the gas
A brand new convertible is out of my class
It don't stop me from a-thinkin' to myself
Sure fine lookin' man, it's somethin' else

Drinkin' beer in a cabaret, was I havin' fun
'Til one night she shot out the light, now I'm on the run
Lay that pistol down, babe, lay that pistol down
Pistol-packin' mama, lay that pistol down...
They're gonna go

A-look a-here, wait and see
Never thought I'd a-do this before
Here I am a-knockin' on her door
My car's out front an' it's all mine
A '41 Ford not a '59
Can't stop me dreamin' and a thinkin' to myself
If it all comes true man, it's somethin' else


[bass / drum duet]

[drum solo]

[drum / violin duet]

Jimmy Lea there !

Keep a-rollin', yeah...keep a-rollin', yeah...keep a-roliin', (yeah)...
Keep a-rollin', (yeah)...keep a-rollin', (yeah)...keep a-rollin', (yeah)...
Keep a-rollin', (yeah)...keep a-rollin', (yeah)...1-2, 1-2-3...

( The Lyrics come courtesy of the "WeerAllCrazee" website, so many thanks there! )


Anonymous said...

Also omitted from Live Anthology was TMBO from Reading, released on live single in Ruby Red double-pack.

John Pitt said...

Thanks for that additional information, Anon, - I will ammend this post accordingly in the interests of accuracy!