Odds and sods about the British rock band Slade

Monday, May 30, 2005

A new Slade concert

On February 4th the "new" Slade gave a concert at a cultural centre in Rødovre near Copenhagen, Denmark. The new line-up consisted of old members Dave Hill on guitar and Don Powell on drums as well as newcomers Steve Whalley on vocals and rhythm guitar and John Berry on bass guitar.
Don was the first to enter the stage at the venue but hardly anyone noticed. Then John came on, then Steve and finally Dave. Dave's entrance made the auditorium roar! It was obviously him whom most of the audience had come to see. We were about 150 people in the audience, all middle-aged. It was a weird experience: elderly men playing to a middle-aged audience, both parts wanting to stir up each other, but both being too old to be really up to it.
Well, I chose to look upon the new Slade as a tribute band to the original Slade and that was okay. John looked more sullen and miserable on stage than original bass player Jim Lea's nickname (Midland's Misery) and Steve was as naughty as original singer Noddy Holder although he lacked Nod's cheekiness. Dave bounced around on stage as a rubber ball and Don was like in the old days, strong, precise, perfect. Steve didn't sound like Noddy, which was quite all right, but his voice quivered a couple of times, the guitars could have been tuned better etc. In short: a tribute band.
The new Slade played original Slade songs from the 1970es and 1980es such as "Look Wot You Dun", "Cum On Feel the Noize", "Everyday", "Far Far Away", "Bangin' Man", "Lock Up Your Daughters" and "Run Runaway". When they played "'Coz I Luv You" Steve got the lyrics wrong. Dave stopped him, asking the audience if anyone remembered the words. Dave then started singing, "Bla-bla-bla…", the audience responding with "'Coz I Luv You". He continued this for so long, that Don forgot to stop when the number was over. He kept on playing the rhythm with his eyes closed, so Dave had to walk over to the drums and shout at him. When realising what had happened, Don laughed so hard that he almost tipped over behind his drums.
At one point Dave played his solo "M'hat, M'coat" on his glowing Superyob guitar and afterwards when they did "Gudbuy T'Jane" Steve pointed to him while singing, "She's a queen". John still looked sullen and Don was in his own world, hitting hard, drying off sweat in white towels, chewing on his gum shield and throwing away broken drumsticks. He went through what seemed to be 10 pairs during the concert and they were all splintered to pieces.
Towards the end of the concert I made eye contact with Don. He suddenly opened his eyes and looked at me, a bit bewildered, then closed his eyes again. Not the second, but the third time that he looked up and found me starring at him, he even smiled at me. Before playing "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" Steve held out the microphone to people in the audience to ask if they were crazy, but when he reached me he pulled back the mike. "I know you're crazy!" he quipped and once again Don almost tipped over from laughing.
The new Slade played for 90 minutes and gave 2 encores, "My Oh My" and "Born To Be Wild". Afterwards Slade's sound technician provided me with the autographs of the band and the following noon when I made my way back home I thought that the new Slade might not be the real Slade but they're a great tribute band. How many other tribute bands have 2 of the original members in them?


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