|Slade Cuttings From the Music Press
Below you will find some reviews of Slade material and gigs from the years
1980/81. I have typed the text in exactly as it appeared in the music press. Unfortunately
the newsprint has aged quite a lot and I was stupid enough to use sellotape to keep the
cuttings in my scrapbook, so the pictures are not of the best standard. I have a feeling
that some of the pictures may be available elsewhere, but it's something I've wanted to do
for a while. If you have any other press cuttings from betweem the years 1976 - 1982 and
would like them added here, please Contact Me
and we can arrange somthing. Hope you enjoy what there is below!
Back From The Dead - Steve Keaton meets Noddy Holder and
Jim Lea of Slade
Slade/U2/Discharge at The Lyceum - Garry Bushell
Slade Smashes review - Mike Gardner
Slade Smashes review - La Punk Nostalgique - Garry
Slade Go Rocking On
Look Who's Popping Back - The Fans Are Still Slayed By
Slade - Rick Sky
Return Of The Wanderers - Slade Alive Again
Hammersmith Odeon review - Philip Hall
All Crazee Again - Hammersmith Odeon review - Steve
Hammersmith Odeon review - Barney Hoskyns
Demolition Men - We'll Bring The House Down Album review
- Mike Nicholls
Noddy's A Big Noise Again - Mike Cable
Slade Bring The House Down Again - Tim Ewbank
The Boyz Iz Bak Again - Philip Hall
Delicious Demolition - We'll Bring The House Down album
review - Steve Keaton
Monsters Of Rock Festival - Castle Donington - review
|Sounds - November 1980
Slade/U2/Discharge at The Lyceum - Garry Bushell
Euphoria, excitement, acclaim, celebration - you name it, Slade
commanded it tonight, roaring out of the swirling mists of time like conquering heroes
returning to their native land.
'Retrogression' you scream. 'Bollox' I say, Slade were by far the punkiest band on
the bill, but then the opposition weren't that hot.
Discharge oozed on first with all the grace and appeal of a syphilitic sore.
Crassland refugees from grim old Stoke and frontline heroes of the even grimmer
underground-punk mentality. Discharge supported a setries of painful bursts of
indistinguishable noise totally bereft of such essentials as choons and singalong
If it weren't for the fact that they threw in a few mumble between songs I'd
have been convinced that they were playing one long-winded 40 minute concept number,
doubtless dedicate to the destruction of four years of musical progress. Natch the
smattering of Crass fans present loved every pustulent minute and the band encored on the
strength of two farts and a cough down the front.
U2 came as a brief relief, sounding initially so much more positive than all
that puerile pretend punk. But the magic soon wore thin as the cracks beneath the band's
polished edifice became more and more apparent. Firstly the newer material confirmed
impressions that U2 are letting their pretensions run away with them, moving from the
joyous pop gems that made their initial appearances so refreshing to tedious drawn-out
yawns that even The Edge's often breathtaking fretwork fluency couldn't compensate for.
And secondly Bono's glum, self-satisfied pronouncements became increasingly offensive as
the night progressed. It seemed like he's beginning to believe the messianic treatment
he's getting from the self-styled radical press - a real cotton wool job that lest him get
away with outrageous nonsence e.g. advocating Adam And Eve over Darwin without being
pulled up about it. Underneathe the glittery surface U2 would appear to be nurturing some
severely unhealthy elements...
Which is more than can be said for Slade, who presented one of the most
pleasurable hours of yob-rock it's been my pleasure to oi-oi to this year. The atmosphere
had enough electricity to supply the domestic power needs of the USA for five years - the
crowd was like a huge slice of the Kop 80 minutes into a 5-0 thrashing - and Slade fed off
it growing huger and more manic before our very eyes.
Honestly I'd put money on it that this ain't the same band I watched
striving rather desperately at the MM last year. It's as if the Reading triumph and the
Top Fifty EP has pumped 'em full of new adrenalin and energy and confidence because the
stage literally exploded in a mass of smoke bombs, silly trousers, toppers, bowlers,
whooping and a-wailing and other expressions of purest glee.
I must admit that I'd only come along to see the old classics - 'Everyday',
'Take Me Bak 'ome', 'Cum On Feel The Noize', 'Gudbye T' Jane', 'Mamma Weer All Crazee
Now', 'Get Down And Get With It' et al - but like the old one goes nostalgia ain't what it
used to be and before I knew it I was quite frankly swept off my feet by the sheer
hard-rocking power of the reborn band.
The new Slade hit with the power of an out of control subway train putting
most of the much mooted NWOBHM to shame. 'Night Starvation' is a case in point, possessing
more balls than a bingo caller and featuring Jimmy and Dave pogoing goofily along to its
punky pace. Other highlights had to include the arms-in-air-with-imaginary-scarf classic
'Everyday' and the show-stealing (relative) newie 'The Wheels Ain't Coming Down', and as
encore justifiably followed encore the evening dissolved in my memory as a gorgeous
celebration of high energy entertainment, random football chants and carefree singsonging.
Sham were never this good at it.
|Sounds - 15 Novenber 1980
Back From The Dead - Steve Keaton meets Noddy Holder and Jim Lea of Slade
people just don't know when to give up. More six foot under than down and out, Slade have
clawed their way back from death's dark chart-file to currently stomp about town (platform
boots a-glinting) with alarming vigour. The band that time forgot.
Oh Nod, forgive me for I have sinned, carelessly packing you off to has-been
limbo. Flail me and be done.
Their legacy of course is considerable. Arguably the finest singles band of
the early seventies, certainly one of the most influential, they gave birth to a rowdy
brood of classic tracks. Each and every one complemented by memorable telly spots.
How I remember teetering about like an idiot to 'Mamma Weer All Crazee Now',
'Cum On Feel The Noize' and 'Gudbye T' Jane' to name but three. Oh, for the days when a
mirrored top hat was the height of street level elegance...
Eventually conquered peaks began to crumble under the weight of ambitions.
movie, 'Slade In Flame' was released - maybe the Scala will dig it out and refresh
our memories? - and the decision to invade America taken. Like a row of teeth at a
Rejects' gig, they flew out of our lives. The end of an era. Supersonic died and Top Of
The Pops was never the same again. Pause to wipe away the tears.
Meanwhile back in the States, Slade were working their loons off. Two years
of hard graft reaped precious few rewards. They came home in seventy seven just as the
punk rebellion gobbed to it's heights. The boys disembarked at Heathrow as an anachronism,
no heroe's welcome, just more hard graft.
Then bingo! A triumph at the Reading Festival and the consequent release of
the Live At Reading EP featuring the smashing 'When I'm Dancing I Ain't Fighting' -
sledgehammer pop in the grand old tradition. A sparkling gig at the Lyceum was all I
needed to be convinced that Slade were very much alive and well and on top form. So much
for the potted history.
Wrapped in a decidedly dodgy old blue duffel coat, his golfball peepers
swivelling above equally blue bags, Noddy Holder ain't quite the hero I'd imagined. I was
kinda hoping he'd greet me in all his silly stage togs, so to be confronted with this
duffel coat...a bit of a downer as you can imagine.
Still, the man himself was bright and cheery as was the wiry Jim Lea.
Unfortunately drummer Don Powelland ace guitarist Dave Hill couldn't make the trip,
intrigues up Wolverhampton way and all that, so I was denied the chance to ask really
important stuff like 'Why does Dave persist with that truly hideous hair style?' and other
burning issues. Thus limited I asked Nod (Neville really, amazing eh?) if they were
getting a trifle desperate before the Reading break?
"No, it wasn't a matter of desperation," he declares,
finally shedding said duffel coat, much to my relief.
"When we came back from the States the whole music scene had changed.
It was a case of starting on the bottom rung of the ladder and working our way up again,
which is what we set about to do really. Just slumming it around, doing gigs everywhere
and anywhere. Not only in Britain but in Europe as well, making people aware that we
hadn't split up and weren't sunning ourselves in the Bahamas. We've been working solid
since the hit records stopped, always on the road.
"When we returned we were in a heavy vein, the album released then
'Whatever Happened To Slade' was a heavy album, and it didn't mean anything then. It was
totally Americanised. Totally out of context to what was going on at the time. If it was
released now it would be in vogue because it's a heavy metal orientated LP."
Were you completely unaware of the development over here then?
"No, not really. We knew that there had been changes over here -
we'd read the papers. But you'd never hear any of the music on American radio. We were
thinking, 'Who are these bands? What sort of music is it?' We got back and turned on the
radio and it was like a revelation to us. Good God, what's happening?! It was a totally
different feeling. We might as well have been in Japan."
The band took a year off then, to assess their own situation, finally
lured back to the boards for a gig in Germany. That was quickly followed by one at Reading
"When we did that - Fantastic! We thought, 'Crike' if we can go
down like that, let's do more gigs. And that's what we've been doing ever since."
Things weren't that simple though. It was hardly hip to be a Slade
booster then. It seemed people just didn't want to know.
"The radio at the time just wouldn't play us. Now Nod and I can
write some good tunes, but whatever went they wouldn't touch us. It was all to do with
fashion. You can't be bitter about it, we understand it. We realised that the name Slade
was uncool; we knew we had to overcome our own name and people's preconceived ideas as to
what the band was about.
"It's taken us two years to overcome that hurdle...But we had to do
that the first time round as well. People then used to associate the name Slade with the
skinhead image. But we did it then and we'll do it now."
It was in fact a lucky fluke that won the group the Reading spot. If it
wasn't for a certain ex-Sab, Noddy and the rest might still be slogging around the country
unnoticed, as the singer explains.
"Well, Ozzy Osbourne's band pulled out three days before the show
and so they asked us to do it. We weren't on any of the billings or anything, we just
stepped into Ozzy's place. We hadn't been on the road for two months. We just got a quick
rehearsal together and went on. It hasn't changed to us since then but it certainly opened
people's eyes. They're aware of us again."
"It was rather funny really," continues Jim. "We
rolled up to Reading in our Ford Granada, we got sent to the public car park. We got all
our guitars and cases and that out of the car and off we went struggling through the
crowd. When we got to the artists enclosure we found that we didn't have our backstage
passes, so there we were asking if we could come in. And stretching off behind us was a
whole line of Rolls Royces.
"Now Whitesnake rolling up in a Rolls Royce you expect, being top of
the bill. But everyone had one, the whole bill! And there's us with twenty hit records
under our belt struggling through the dust.
"That's the way it's always been with us. The story of our lives,
everything around us always falls apart. We've never been able to be cool. God, we've
tried, I'm afraid we'll always be uncool. We felt like the outsiders going to Reading, but
when we got backstage everyone started asking us for our autographs. We felt good then,
that's when we knew we were in with a bloody good chance. We never die on stage either.
Been around too long. We knew exactly what we were going to do, never had any problems
The entire show was recorded by the BBC for broadcasting on the Friday
Rock Show. Forty-five minutes of Slade's set was aired. "We just had to release
something from it, we had so many requests."
'When I'm Dancing' and 'Born To Be Wild' were the selected songs, an
arrangement was struck with the Beeb and the EP appeared on Jim Lea's own Cheapskate
Records label. It's currenly jostling around the top forty as well as making a fleeting
though high appearance in our own HM chart. It deserves your attention.
Meanwhile Polydor are releasing a 'Slade Smashes' compilation invaluable for
wretches like me who no longer possess the originals. I asked Nod if he was at all
depressed at this preoccupation with past glories?
"Depressed? No. This compilation will be great for the fans, a
chance to get all the hits on one record. But we don't relate to them in the same way
anymore, the way we play them now is bugger all like the records anyway."
Jim : "I didn't even like some of those old ones. We all hated
'Gudbye T' Jane' when we made it, it was knocked up in half an hour at the end of one of
our studio sessions. The same for our second single, 'Coz I Luv You'. It was namby-pamby
to us, a throwaway for an album. It shot to number on in two weeks and we thought, 'What a
pile of shit!' It was so wet.
"But they were good times. The success never changed us, because this
band just doesn't have an ego - except for Dave. I remember there was this great rivalry
between us and Bolan. We used to sit in the TOTP dressing room getting powdered up, with
the Osmonds waiting behind us, and everyone was taking the piss out of one another. We
would come out of the Beeb and there would be all these fans after autographs and stuff.
Chicks would come up to Marc and say, 'Are you Marc Bolan? Ain't you fat.'
The duo chuckle happily at the memory.
"And now we're having to live down our success. Y'know it's much
harder to make it the second time around. We've never, ever considered splitting up
because we know that at the end of the day we can walk on stage and blow any fucker off -
and that's what it all comes down to in the end.
"And that goes right back to the beginning. Like when we were skins we
were outlawed. It was really bad then. No gigs, no radioplay, nothing. But we survived
because we went to places like universities and that and tore the joints apart; not a
skinhead in sight in the audience, it was all long haired hippies in those days.
"We just need people to see us at face value, see? Exactly the same as
they did at Lincoln or Reading. They didn't fork out their ticket money to see us at those
gigs, but once they did see us they accepted us for what we were and enjoyed it...and
that's all we've ever been here for."
|Record Mirror - 27 November 1980
Slade Smashes (Polydor POLTV13) review Mike Gardner
keep telling me there's a Slade revival going on, but it's hard not to laugh. It's more
than interesting to watch those who've seen them live attempt to convert those who keep
their look of bemusement and incredulity intact during the discourse. It's also funny to
watch the curious become fervent disciples whose faces light up at the mention of Slade.
They're the ones who stumble across the truth, via the experience, that there is no Slade
The word revival always implies that the band were redundant for a period
between their 'hey-day' and their current 'resurgence' but Slade have remained constant
They slogged up and down the toilets and flea-pits of this country for five
years before their first hit 'Get Down And Get With It' gave everybody the opportunity to
realise that they are one of the best live attractions in this land.
Their aggressive, energetic and enthusiastic stage show was successfully
translated into a string of raucous singles that celebrated the mythical rock 'n' roll
spirit with a vengeance. Songs like 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now', 'Cum On Feel The Noize',
'Take Me Bak 'ome', 'Gudbuy T' Jane' and the others contained on this 20 track precis of
the time when Slade and the record buying public connected are the best reminders of the
power some felt and others ignored.
Those who have realised the power of Slade will already have the majority of
the songs on this collection. Those who have only recently caught up with the fact that
Slade have remained constant and those that have reconnected with a fundamental lynch-pin
of that mess we call rock 'n' roll will find this set a useful but ultimately unsatisfying
reminder of the joy and exuberance of the Birmingham quartet of Noddy, Jimmy, Don and
Dave. Those who have yet to find out had better start here and then grasp the opportunity
to 'ffel the noize' at the first chance. (4 and a half stars out of five).
|Sounds - 29 November 1980
Slade Smashes (Polydor POLTV13) review - La Punk Nostalgique - Garry Bushell
I know, I
know, another five star review. Seems that virtually every vinyl sweetmeat I weigh up
these days is worthy of the ultimate accolade, but I kid you not chums, despite the gloomy
doomy 'music is dead' attitudes promoted by various intensely boring manic depressive
types I honestly believe that musically things have rarely been better.
Take a gander at some of the classic modern records that have seen the light
of day these past few months - The Skids, The Jam, The Rejects, The Specials, Madness,
Motorhead, Manners - oi vay in a babylon breddren, talk about diamond wheezers. And at the
same time not instead of musical progress but as a nice little bonus on the side, we've
been treated to re-issues of some of the old time heroes who made my own teeny weeny days
go with a grin and mucho din...Big Gal Glitter, the soon-come Judge Dread double and now
this mighty meaty big and bouncy collection of twenty timeless Slade faves.
For once I'm speechless, well almost anyway, and it's only with near
superhuman self restraint that I prevent these perspiring pinkies from tapping out the
full horrorshow history of my Slade memories, from that initial encounter on the Eammon
Andrews Show blistering through 'Get Down And Get With It' with cropped-head conviction,
through hundreds of backing track adolescent adventures, right up to undoubted chart
supremacy and Earls Court mayhem with, I must confess, silly hat and cape flying in the
All I'm gonna say is that as far as I can see this collection is a perfect
reminder of the glories that were, marrying raucous rock and singalong pop in a superb
celebration of unpretentious goodtimes. They're all here, the rowdy faultless
chart-toppers 'Coz I Luv You', 'Take Me Bak 'ome', 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now', 'Skweeze
Me, Pleeze Me', 'Merry Xmas Everybody' - ten silver discs, two gold discs, one platinum.
There's the mighty scarf-waving anthem 'Everyday' too, and the similarly
moving homesick howsyafarver 'Far Far Away', not to mention the pre-Rejects football fave
'Give Us A Goal', then the r 'n' r circus medley 'My Baby Left Me.That's Alright Mama',
the stompin' stormer 'Get Down And Get With It', and even, whisper it, one or two I ain't
so fond of like 'Thanks For The Memory' which makes me think maybe, just maybe, the rot
was setting in even before the American failure. But they're just the exception that
proove the proof of the pudding washes whiter.
Because what we're talking about here then, men, is a near miraculous disc
that every home should have. And what's interesting is that recent live performances
indicate that the band, despite their methusela-like antiquity still rock like good'uns
and Noddy is still the same colourful clown with the prime primal power-lung scream, so
maybe there's a chance that Slade'll become heroes for a new generation...
For the moment, however, I don't give a monkey's toss about speculating and
such like, all I wanna do is put this on again full blast and dodge the missiles from the
ignorant barbarians who I'm forced to share this under-paid under-staffed office with.
ALRIGHTTTT EVERRRYBODYYY, DO YA FEEL ALRIGHT, (cont. ad nauseum)
|Slade Go Rocking On - Chester Chronicle - 5
rock band regarded by many as 'yesterdays men' was the surprise hit of the Reading
Festival this year.
Heavy metal freaks congegated in the open air to pay homage to current idols
of the genre like Whitesnake and Angelwitch - and ended up cheering for Slade, who had not
had a major hit for four years.
In the early 1970's there was no bigger band than Slade with it's
distinctive good time style and gravelly Noddy Holder vocals but, by 1976, it seemed that
they had had their day.
They have continued to work and get a good response, but the records haven't
sold too well and the media interest was nil. They were slotted into the Reading Festival
only because another, more trendy band - Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard Of Oz - pulled out.
"Some people said we shouldn't risk it, that we would be laughed
off the stage,"
said Jimmy Lea, one of the same four midlanders who are the unchange line-up
"but we knew different. We knew we could take that audience.
"Sure, on the face of it, it seemed unlikely - a band which had had all
its hits years ago going down a storm with a heavy metal audience - but I'll tell you
something even more unlikely.
"In the middle of Summer that audience demanded our number one hit
'Merry Christmas Everybody' - and we got them to sing it instead. We led a yuletide
singsong at a rock festival.
"I felt sorry for the band that had to follow us - but I bet they
learned something from it. I bet they are a better band for having suffered that
Slade - apart from Holder and Lea, the members are Dave Hill and Don Powell
- is very proud of it's professionalism and seems genuinely to believe that it is a more
polished and exciting band than it was in it's hey-day. Their hit EP 'Slade Alive At
Reading' bears out that theory, though they realistically doubt that they will ever regain
the idolatry they had in days of yore.
"I don't think we would want it." said Lea. "We
have been through that phase, and it got to the stage where audiences weren't listening to
Slade had it's origins in Wolverhampton, the home town of all four members
and the place where three of them still live, and the quartet is getting close to it's
15th anniversary. They were discovered by Chas Chandler. then a member of the supergroup
The Animals, but had years of slog before finding the success formula. They were the In
Betweens, they were Ambrose Slade, they had a totally false boots-and-braces skinhead
image - but in 1971 they owned up to solid Rock 'n' Roll by recording an old Little
Richard song called 'Get Down And Get With It' and having their first hit.
Their stage performances were, and are, characterised by a kind of democracy
which removes the distinctions between performers and audience. They don't just give the
audience a good time, they actually have a good time with the audience. Between songs,
Holder's bawdy humour rings out, speculating on what kind of knickers the girls are
wearing or encouraging the lads to have 'a bit of a feel' during the slower numbers.
With a new collection of hits about to reach the album racks, Slade will
soon find themselves out of the chart wilderness.
|Daily Star - Pop Star - December 1980
Look Who's Popping Back - The Fans Are Still Slayed By Slade - Rick Sky
famous pop names are back in action. Roy Wood, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Peter Noone and Slade
were all stars in the early seventies. But they faded from the scene when the New Wave
groups came along. Now the talented lads who were top of the pops time after time are back
on the road.
Slade are set to slay pop punters again with their raucous brand of rock.
The band that put bop into pop are back with a bang.
Just to be different - they've always been that - Slade insist they are not
making a comeback.
But they can't deny that they have been out of the limelight for years.
And whatever they say, they are doing all they can to rediscover the formula
for chart success.
Back in the early seventies, the outrageous lead singer Noddy Holder was a
top pin-up in music magazines and was mobbed wherever he appeared.
But now he's singing a different tune. The bug-eyed and belligerent star is
desperately hoping to hit the headlines again.
And Noddy's hopes of hitting the charts are based on more than mere ambition
- if 50,000 young fans are anything to go by.
Those fans screamed Slade's praises when the band put on a knockout
performance at the Reading Festival in Summer.
They were delighted to see Slade in full swing again, but they were not as
happy as Noddy...he was over the moon.
A stirring gig at a big festival was just the thing to get the band back on
the right track.
Guitarist Jim Lea says,
"Our problem was that although we had as much confidence in
ourselves as ever, our audiences didn't!
"We thought the only way we could get our records played on Radio was
to change our name."
But Slade didn't have to take that drastic step.
"Now it looks like it's all coming up roses again." says
Record Mirror - May
Return Of The Wanderers - Slade Alive Again
I can remember
when 'Top Of The Pops' was fun to watch. Every Thursday you had the sight of Rod Stewart
and The Faces playing football and swapping instruments mid song. You could smirk while
watching Sweet attempt to get credibility while dressed as tastelessly as the three flying
ducks on Hilda Ogden's wall.
There was Marc Bolan, vamping, pouting and strutting his star spangled face
with his guitar lead tucked neatly in his back pocket. There was the infamous lead singer
with , the thankfully forgotten, Chicory Tip who managed to inspire mass hatred and
contempt for his hamfisted attempt to do a Rod Stewart impression while dressed as an
extraterrestrial being from Blake's Seven on a budget of two 15p luncheon vouchers.
Then there was Slade. Don Powell sat on his drums, impervious to all around
him, chewing Wrigley's with his, seemingly, pneumatic molars, pumping out the stomp rhythm
with his candy striped sticks.
Bassist Jimmy Lea rocked and swayed as he careered around the tiny podium
which is festooned with streamers and hoardes of pubescent revellers.
Dave Hill had his chubby face permanently fixed in the grin position as he
teetered dangerously on his, seemingly, telescopic platform boots while wiggling his
silver lame buttocks at the cameras.
Finally, there was Noddy, the true leader of the gang. A real nutter who
commanded attention, if not by his authority, then by his sumptuous foghorn of a bellow
that was loosely called a voice. He told us when to stomp, when to clap, when to feel the
noise, and got us all crazy then.
So whatever happened to Slade?
In many ways Slade are back to square one. They made their reputation long
before 'Get Down And Get With It' battered its way into the charts in August 1971 as one
of the best nights out in the country with their forceful brand of rock.
After five years of hard slog they were rewarded with a Polydor recording
contract and the miscalculated image of being Britain's first skinhead band. They decided
to release a stage favourite 'Get Down And Get With It', an adapted Little Richard number,
recorded where they sounded best, on stage. It was a song that they claimed summed up in
three minutes what the band was about, sweat, booze and aggression tempered with the good
The single crept up the charts with only the diligence of John Peel and
Radio Luxembourg keeping the song on the airwaves and their solid touring schedule to keep
it afloat. The single reached number 16 but that was just the beginning.
"We consciously thought of going for three minute hits, obviously
when you've had a smell of the charts you don't want to be a one hit wonder."
claims Noddy Holder.
For the follow up Noddy wrote for the first time with Jimmy Lea, a
combination they've stuck with ever since.
"We weren't convinced with 'Coz I Luv You' as a hit but Chas
Chandler, the ex-member of The Animals and manager of Jimi Hendrix and our manager since
then, told us that it was a great song and it had our stamp on it. We thought it was a bit
wet." says Noddy.
The 'wet' song made number one within two weeks of release.
The band then started on an impressive string of hits including 'Take Me Bak
'ome', 'Mama Weer All Crazee Now', 'Gudbuy T' Jane' and 'Cum On Feel The Noize'.
"We stayed on a level in terms of fame," says Jimmy Lea. "Marc
Bolan was getting big articles in all the Sunday papers. We just couldn't crack it the
size that he was at all. The only thing that cracked it for us was live apperances."
The live appearance in particular was the Lincoln Festival, purported
to be the last great festival with most of the big names like Rod Stewart And The Faces,
Beach Boys, Joe Cocker and even Monty Python. The press descended on it as if it was a
wake for the Woodstock nation, as it seemed to be, with the likes of Stanley Baker and
high powered city magnates involved in the organisation.
"They booed us when we went on stage," recalls Noddy. "They
all thought 'What are you doing on this festival with Cocker and the Beach Boys?' But we
built and built and built. At the end we did 'Get Down And Get With It' which had been a
hit by then and the crowd went beserk and we stole the show. We had all the music press
front covers the next week and that cracked us to the masses."
"People now don't give us credibility because usually they haven't seen
us live. We still pack out everywhere we play but people think we were off the scene for
two years even though we were working solidly around the world."
"People think we've split up and they think it's all old hat so it's a
matter of breaking down that barrier again which is a good buzz for us," he adds
After the hits and the moderate success of their movie 'Flame' they tackled
the United States Of America.
"People were saying we died a death out there because of a few
measly write ups that came back and I have to tell them that you can't survive two weeks,
let alone two years, there if you're crap," asserts Jimmy.
"Our albums all made the top 100 which is good considering we never
had a hit single to carry the album along with it."
But back home they found that absence had cooled their hit making
"When we came back in 1977 the climate had changed and the New Wave
was happening. We enjoyed it but we didn't realise that we'd become semi-heavy metal and
very Americanised with the big arena rock thing. We wrote the 'Whatever Happened To Slade'
album and it was totally the climate," explains Noddy, adding that the correct
time for release would be now with the resurgance of the haevy metal wave.
"Because it didn't take off we decided to work solidly here to get
a firm foothold again.
"It was a blow to the ego, you think that you can come back and
everthing will be as it was and it's not like that," continues Noddy.
They took nine months off trying to decide on a direction until a one-off
gig made them realise that Slade have only one direction and that's to play to their
strength on the live stage.
Now with many of the new bands acknowledging them as inspiration, Slade find
themselves on the threshold of a new recognition. A recognition that should start with the
recent release of their good value six track EP at the bargain price of £1.49 called 'Six
Of The Best'.
"We think our time will come again. We wouldn't carry on if we
didn't think we could. When we get in front of an audience and they're still going crazy
we know we've still got it.
"All the success we've had we've had to fight for and it was never an
easy run the first time round. We were together five years before we even got a record
deal. We've learned that if we stick at it our day will come again."
|Record Mirror - February 1981
Hammersmith Odeon review - Philip Hall
At a packed Odeon there were bikers,
skins, punx and Barry Normal's all keeping the legend alive.
When Slade hit the stage amid a kaleidoscope of coloured lights the
atmosphere in the Odeon was similar to the Kop after Liverpool had just scored. It was as
though the clock had been turned back five years and Slade were still a supergroup making
a rare appearance.
Slade's stage presence is so powerful that you are pulled into their brash
rock 'n' roll world whether you like it or not.
All the hits were there and if the new single 'We'll Bring The House Down'
was anything to go by then Slade could at last be in command of the charts again.
All Crazee (Again) - Hammersmith Odeon review - Steve Keaton
bellowed an obese lunk next door to me as the lights dimmed. "Yyeahgoodole Noddee!
Whoahhoooo!". The poor guy seemed almost rabid with excitement. I was getting quite
worried. I can tell you.
His not unnoticeable paunch was quivering quite violently and I began to
have terrible visions of it bursting over my already filthy pumps. Imagine all those
partially digested hot dogs, curdled ice cream and flat lager.
Charming. And he wasn't the only one. I was surrounded by bawling punters,
boots were stomping and arms flailing. I could have drowned in a sea of ruptured stomaches
and no one would have noticed.
Too be honest, Slade had this gig handed to them on a telly promoted plate.
They could have hidden behind the drum kit and blown kazoos all night and still have gone
down a storm. But they didn't, of course. Noddy Holder OAP ('orrible aging popstar) and
his jolly band of brigands gave everything they had - they delivered the goods with a
sledgehammer. Without question it was the brightest, hardest and (most definitely) loudest
set I've yet see them unleash.
They were as slick as Deep Throat and just as chatty. Mind you it was also
horribly predictable. They churned out all the usual old "we're gonna have a
rrrrockin' and rrrrolin' night tonight" flannel and it was song for song the
same as the last time I caught them. Only the audience were wilder. But then what do you
expect? As far as glitzy knees ups go this was the tops. The band played their parts
brilliantly and the kids loved the movie. Yep, their flashbomb tapestry is back in favour
Slade have, I think, finally shed their image as rock's zombies, long dead
yet still stumbling around. Certainly tonight they packed out the Odeon with conviction
and the atmosphere was far from nostalgic. The great old smashes like 'Gudbuy T' Jane' and
'Mama Weer All Crazee Now' came over fresh and strong and mingled well with the newer and
heavier 'Night Starvation' and 'When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fighting'.
Dallas Dave Hill particularly excelled himself - despite the Larry Hagman
handmedowns - with some masterful guitar work, most notably on the showstopping 'The
Wheels Ain't Coming Down', the standout track from the 'Return To Base' album (check it
out yobs). I must admit though that my interest waned at times, the 'Live EP' medley is
becoming a trifle wearisome and I could have lived without all the pandering to the simian
element (chants of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and such like) but then them's the breaks.
This gig was a triumph, of that there can be no doubt.
Slade's main concern must now centre around the vinyl to consolidate the
success of their recent compilation elpee with other chart honours. I can't say I think
that the new single 'We'll Bring The House Down' is overly hot but I'm sure it'll bring
Top Of The Pops back within their eager grasp. Friends, a new age of Slademania waits
drooling just around the next speaker stack.
|New Musical Express - February 1981
Hammersmith Odeon review - Barney Hoskyns
a number for all of you who don't get enough," announced Noddy Holder. "It's
called Night Starvation."
Suddenly it clicked : none of these people get enough. One saw
the whole thing - the identification with fearless macho guitar heroes, the aggressive
phallic imagery, the Roger Dean trip - as one big fantasy myth of overpowering ubiquitous
To be precise, a heavy scene.
Slade, however, who made this blinding revelation possible, don't quite fit
in with it.
What freak of evolution has turned these jesters of glam-rock into monstres
of HM? Perhaps it was to be expected that all the various practices overturned by the new
wave should form some kind of alliance to run it out of town for good. Whatever it was,
Slade are on to a good thing, and they know it. Heavy metal's major weapon is that it
doesn't need to apologise : it never entertains the concept of selling out. The more
successful a band is, the more 'power' it has.
At least heavy metal fans make a point of enjoying themselves. At most of
the new youth gatherings I have attended, the sense of ritual is so all-embracing that one
is ashamed to be caught looking at the stage. I must even admit to a vague twinge of
nostalgia on my own part - those great stacks of Marshall amps, the hush as the lights go
down, the red lights winking out of the darkness...
And yet, as with all those supergroups way back when, the excitement came
before the show and not during it.
The moment Slade broke into their first rock blues, the sheer sexlessness
froze me into a stoical rigidity. I became a martyr to my ears. The only thing that made
up for this complete musical desensitisation was their undeniable visual appeal : the
delightful Dave Hill in a Stetson, Noddy Holder's mutton chops, even Jimmy Lea's green
violin. But, despite this, despite even Holder's unique voice, numbers like 'The Wheels
Ain't Coming Down' or 'We'll Bring The House Down' are just vulgarised Southern rock
without the raunchiness.
Of the old hits, 'Take Me Bak 'ome' and 'Cum On Feel The Noize' (one of
several encores) were the most enjoyable. The uniform blandness of everything else was
equalled only by the delight and apparent devotion of their new audience.
|Record Mirror - March 1981
Demolition Men - We'll Bring The House Down Album review - Mike Nicholls
Slade revival has been somthing of an ongoing affair, stretching back at least as far as
79's commendable 'Return To Base' and a sprinkling of dynamic Music Machine dates around
These conveyed a refreshing circa '72 all-'avin-fun-together atmosphere a
million miles away from the current gang war attitute that dictates one must be a
futuristic / rockabilly / skinhead / headbanger etc. So why are they continuing to gain
Well, whatever the escapist merits of New Romanticism, there's still a fair
bit to be said about the properties of getting down and getting with it, the kind of grass
roots entertainment that Slade personify. Plus however loud and raucous they are they can
still write songs - y'know, those old-fashioned, well-rounded things with
structures, story-lines and neat, irresistable hooks.
Here the latter are represented by 'Wheels Ain't Coming Down' and 'Lemme
Love Into Ya'. The first is about the relief of finding out that the aircraft you're on
isn't so dodgy after all and thus is an honest evocation of the good to be alive feeling
so beloved by us all.
The second is a surprisingly progressive ballad, slow, splintery and swash
with more synthesised effects. Yep, Slade can be experimental but since their ace card has
always been to seduce with the most banal of football terrace chants, it's there that they
Not even the remorseless 'Nuts Bolts And Screws / I Heard It On The News'
grates too badly though 'When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fighting' does truly become a
bit of a pain. The concept of 'It's so bad that it's good' also rears it's head
on 'Hold On To Your Hats' which with a bit of luck won't be released as their next 45.
Elsewhere Noddy, Dave and the boys show a good capacity for variety, their
manager's 'My Baby's Got It' a reasonably rockabilly rip-off and Chuck Berry's @I'm A
Rocker' a vindication of their pub rock roots.
At the same this is something of a double-edged sword. Too untamed for
parties and too undanceable for discos. It's difficult to justify a record like this on
it's own terms. Slade are essentially a live act and on vinyl the vital ingredient of
spilt beer is sorely missed. But all things considered the pros outweigh the cons, a point
which is unlikely to escape the attention of the fans who've put them back in the singles
chrt. (Three and a half stars out of five)
|News Of The World - March 1981
Noddy's A Big Noise Again - Mike Cable
Holder and his rock group Slade have silenced the hearing experts.
As one of the loudest bands in the world, they should be deaf as posts, say
But Harley Street specialists have discovered their hearing is above
The test was part of a survey on the effects of loud music
Noddy, the group's 30-year-old singer said "Everybody was amazed at
And Slade's ear splitting sound is now back in the charts after a three
year break with 'We'll Bring The House Down'.
"It's nice to be back," says Noddy, "especially
as we've been written off as has-beens.
"After six years of solid success when we chalked up 20 consecutive
hits and six number ones we suddenly became unfashionable and nobody wanted to know us.
"It was very depressing but we just swallowed our pride and started
from scratch again."
Noddy said the group has always had it's ups and downs, although they'd
never thought seriously about splitting up and quitting the rock scene.
He added, "We were always confident that people would get bored
with the New Wave bands and go back to fun with good old rock and roll."
|Daily Star - Pop Shop - March 1981
Slade Bring The House Down Again - Tim Ewbank
were always the loudest. But five years after Slade were written off, they have proved
they are a band that can last.
And once again Noddy Holder and his boys are bringing the house down with
their brash, basic brand of rock.
They are in the charts for the first time since 1978 with the single 'We'll
Bring The House Down'.
For many pop fans the new success is a big surprise - except to Slade.
Holder, 31, says "We knew we could come back, We never doubted it."
"Sure we had a few lean years and went through a period when we were
unfashionable. But we never thought of splitting up.
"When the hits stopped coming it made us all the more determined to go
out and fight our way back to the top."
The band - Noddy, Jim Lea, 28, Dave Hill, 29, and Don Powell, 30 - this
year celebrate a fifteen year partnership.
Holder says "We always said we could carry on playing together as
long as we were enjoying ourselves.
"Well, we still are. And we are still as loud!"
Slade have just finished a British tour in which they belted out old
hits and new at no less than 90 gigs.
They found they were playing to new fans and hundreds of faithful followers
who remembered Slade a decade ago led by Holder in top hat, platform boots and half-mast
Their new album, also called 'Well Bring The House Down' is in the same old
Slade style - thumping, no-nonsense, high-decibel rock.
And if you hear Holder screaming a little louder than usual on the band's
new single he has a very good reason.
The song is called 'The Wheels Ain't Coming Down' and was written about a
ride he had in a plane in America when he thought he had just 45 minutes to live.
He says "Jim and I were on the way to a radio station when the
captain told us he could not get the wheels down to land.
"We were diverted to another airport for a crash landing.
"It's not a great feeling knowing you might have only 45 minutes left
"We drank all the booze there was going. Happily the pilot brought the
plane down safely."
|Record Mirror - March 1981
The Boyz Iz Bak Again - Philip Hall
you didn't know Slade are on the up'n'up again. Their taste of the big time was long and
extremely sweet, six number one singles, and four number one albums, but once the hits
stopped coming Slade were not prepared to fade into a lazy retirement.
At last their gruelling touring battle has paid off. They recently sold out
the Hammersmith Odeon and with 'We'll Bring The House Down' Slade have their first top 30
hit in three and a half years.
we're not a comback band, we've always been here and it's just that
we've been unrecognised. We've been through everything. I just really enjoy what I'm
doing." Slade's likeable lead guitarist Dave Hill tells me.
A swift train ride to Slade's home base, Wolverhampton, and Dave Hill is on
time, waiting for me at the station. I politely break up his conversation with a local Led
Zep, Sabbath, Slade fan and Dave drives me in his Jag to an ethnic scratchings and
steelworks Black Country pub.
Apart from his feathered cowboy hat and high-heeled boots he blends smoothly
into the Coronation Street surroundings. Dave is a down to earth, professional interviewee
who unwittingly shows off his polished expertise by answering my questions before I've
even asked them.
"We wouldn't have kept writing songs if we didn't think that we
were gonna have hits again. We'd have just played our oldies." explains Dave.
"When the Beatles became successful Lennon said 'We're playing now
what we've been playing for years, but it's only now that we're being written about so now
we're selling records'. The same applies to us. We've stuck it out, we've played what we
believed in and we've waited for our boat to come in. I mean you can't keep going down
well and not get something at the end of it. If we were dying I'd say that's it but we
Slade's boat started to come in at last year's Reading Festival. They
were a last minute addition to the bill but were the success of the weekend.
Slade have always been first and foremost an upfront live band. During the
last few years they've played anywhere that would have them and it's this solid touring
which Dave reckons kept the band together.
Slade's new single is another turning point for them because it's managed to
capture their unique stage magic on record. Dave explains, "We wrote the song
around the audience as we wanted to give them something to sing along to. Nowadays no-one
seems to be bothered with giving the audience anything."
The way the band captured their live atmosphere on record is a story
Dave is keen to tell me about.
"Rather than having a carpeted studio sound we decided to record
the drums in the bog and they sounded really big in there. So just for the hell of it we
put all our gear in the bog and even did the vocals in there as well. It gave us just the
sound we wanted and we called it 'bog rock'.'
Dave admits that the only ambition he has left is to have hit singles
again - though he says that the band still need the money.
"We've all had our Rolls Royces but in fact I'd much prefer a Ford
Granada. We've got nothing to prove anymore, we just live with our means. We've all stayed
up Wolverhampton 'cos we feel more comfortable living here. We found we couldn't fit in
with the nightclub scene in London because we always felt we were being ripped off in all
those trendy places. Only Don lives in London and that's 'cos he's still a bachelor and he
reckons the talent's better down there."
Slade are a remarkable band. Though they've reached the heights and
then hit rock bottom their honest approach never seems to have wavered. Their determined
attitude has at last won them the respect the press and the gig-giong public.
|Sounds - March 1981
Delicious Demolition - We'll Bring The House Down album review - Steve Keaton
kids, bored with all this so-called futuristic disco dross? Tired of doing the old
Two-Tone two step? Wanna change from the foolishness of current top fashions?
Then Slade (gawd bless 'em) have produced a pole-axing panacea which is just
up your street. Ten tracks of rejuvenated roguery guaranteed to cause severe structural
damage to the sturdiest of dwellings and delight the most surly of yobs.
'We'll Bring The House Down' is both a monumental triumph for the band who
over the last few months have swept spectacularly back into favour, and a real treat for
those kids who've moved unreservedly behind 'em. It is, in short, a corker, brimming with
a knowing confidence and expertise that has far from withered through age.
The title track opens the show. I must confess to being wholly unimpressed
by it when it was first crammed down my lug'oles pre-chart smash time. 'Not a touch on't
earlier 'un' could be heared muttered sagely about Neasden. Well of course time and sales
have proved me completely off the ball, the single has capitulated Noddy and Co firmly
back into the charts.
Anyway it quickly careers into the splendidly sexist 'Night Starvation'
wherein young Holder postulates on the potential pleasures of the horn. It is quite
possibly the album's standout, or should that be stand-up, track. With a faultless hook
and breezy beat it'd make a brilliant single, even if it's saucy subject isn't exactly
staid TOTP fare. 'I Wanna feel her, hold her, squeeze her,' drools the lecherous Nod, to
which the Sladettes in the background coo, 'They like it, you like it, we want it/more oh
yeah!' - marvellous stuff.
There's an apparently re-recorded version of the live stunner 'Wheels Ain't
Coming Down' - it was you may recall one of the more formidable cuts from the 'Return To
Base' elpee - as well as a studio version of the 'When I'm Dancin' I Ain't Fighting'
single, both of which feature some tremendous axe work from Dave (well pied on TISWAS)
Hill. In fact he excells himself throughout, giving the sound a distinctive and stylish
The second side is more out and out heavy metal, what with the almost
AC/DCish 'Dizzy Mama' and a thunderous 'Nuts Bolts And Screws'. And such is their power
that they even breath a sort of life into that horrible old Chuck Berry chestnut 'I'm A
Rocker', a considerable feat in itself, I'd say. 'We'll Bring The House Down' is when
all's said and done an invaluable addition to the realms of demolition rock. Slade are
back with a vengeance!
|Sounds - August 1981
Monsters Of Rock Festival - Castle Donington - review
There are some events and incidents
which, by virtue of their sheer awfulness, are designed to remain indelibly linked upon
the annals of time. The fall of the Roman Empire, for example, Margaret Thatcher's general
election victory, the pilot episode of Dallas...and Castle Donington 1980.
But you can't hold a party in the middle of a damp Saturday afternoon and
expect all the guests to stick around to the end. Not, that is, unless your name is Slade.
Although hampered by the worst rain of the day, Slade conquered the
proceedings and absolutely stole the show. It wasn't totally surprising. Slade are
indesputably a Festival Band - they know the ropes - and they work their best at HM
extravaganzas where their glossy over-the-top antics bash down every barrier.
Slade didn't stop to consider the problems. They merely marched on stage and
rattled through almost everything they've ever written - 'We'll Bring The House Down',
'Gudbuy T' Jane', 'When I'm Dancing', you can imagine the rest - taking the unconcealed
piss out of all the heirarchical posturing that generally passes for showmanship at such
'I want everybody to get up out of their seats,' bellowed Noddy Holder,
summing up the absurdity of the situation. And everybody did. Mentally that is. For an
hour, the sloth slipped out of the arena and sixty thousand fists punched the air in the
traditional manner to acknowledge that Slade, at least, had made the discomfor worthwhile
before the band launched a hundred bog rolls into the atmosphere and took their leave in a
storm of genuine appreciation. Clearly, Blue Oyster Cult were going to have 'fun'
Blue Oyster Cult already had troubles. The night before the festival, their
drummer Albert Bouchard had caused the band's first line-up change in a decade, leaving
the drums in the hands of a roadie and the Cult in something of a precarious position.
Exactly what they didn't need after Slade...........