Odds and sods about the British rock band Slade

Monday, February 12, 2007

Slade in Aarhus

On February 10th Slade gave a concert in the Danish town Aarhus and this was probably the most chaotic gig that I’ve been to.
It started out okay. I left Odense at 1 p.m. and after a 2 hours train ride I reached Aarhus. Here Slade’s Danish driver picked me up in the van, Tim and Robin of the crew being there as well, and we drove to the venue. Here we met with Don and Hanne and as usual it was great seeing them. Don had to do the soundcheck and during that I talked to Hanne and took care of different practical things.
After a couple of hours Don and Hanne had to leave to pick up Hanne’s kids and somehow I ended up being in charge of the guest list. Unfortunately the ticket sales guy hadn’t turned up by then, so I really couldn’t get things sorted out. Instead I went to have something to eat and half an hour later I was back at the venue. The ticket sales guy still hadn’t showed up and for the next hour I just hung around on my own, waiting for him to arrive. When he finally turned up, I gave him the guest list and then I had to spend yet another hour on my own at the venue. Not the most pleasant experience, I must admit.
Finally at eight Don and Hanne came back and I took them to the dinner-area. Well, I guess I have to explain this. The concert was a Sweet/Slade-thing in a big sports arena, but the place had really lousy backstage facilities. Originally the bands had to eat at the sports arena restaurant a mile away from the venue, but as this was no option we had seen to it that they could eat at the venue instead. The caterers had then decided to serve the meal in the commentator’s box, so the guys had to sit up there eating, while the audience was already in the arena, watching them! Not the cleverest of ideas.
Well, they had their dinner and I went out into the crowd to say hello to hardcore fans Per and Kirsten and to get hold of the guys from Danish band The Guv’nors with whom Don had done some recordings in January. I also got to say hello to other fans and friends of the band and to actually sit down for half an hour to talk to Don. The local paper had done an interview with him, using my photos and lifting half of the interview from my blog, but at least it was good press. At some point Dave came by to grab a bite to eat and later Mal turned up. He came over to give me a kiss and he was ever so cold, his hands like ice, because of the low temperatures outside.
In the meantime Sweet made it through their set and finally at 9.45 p.m. Slade was on. I was down front with Per and Kirsten and the set list was the same as the weekend before. There was a lot of banter this time, jokes and laughs and the atmosphere was great. The guys were all in such a playful mood, laughing and joking around. Even John smiled most of the time! And Don kept his eyes open, he never does that when playing, but this night he was all attentive to the audience. Dave found it funny to pronounce the word “Aarhus” and when introducing “’Coz I Luv You”, he said, “On violin I believe, Mr. John Berry.” Don and I just looked at each other! Later when they did “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” Dave got down to kiss John’s arse. Literally, I mean! The guy actually kissed his arse on stage, and John almost had a fit from laughing.
Mal was at his best as well, small-talking and joking with the audience between songs. He had adopted the typical Noddy-pouting when playing, and he was really outgoing, laughing all the time. This concert was fantastic, one of their best so it was too bad that it hardly had any audience! The day before the guys had played for a full house in the town of Fjerritslev, but here in Aarhus only a few couple of hundreds had turned up, as there had been too little promotion and as there were several other big names playing in Aarhus that night. Oh well. At least the band was at its best, the audience was at its best and it rubbed off on the crew as well. At one point Tim dressed up in the cover from a speaker cabinet and went on stage! It was hilarious and we laughed so much that we could hardly stand it.
The concert finished at 11 p.m. and afterwards I went with the band to the hotel. Not until we sat in the van was I able to actually say hello to John! He hadn’t been to dinner so this was the first time during the evening that we met. Anyway, at the hotel Don and I had different practical things to sort out and afterwards we hung out with the rest in the hotel bar for a couple of hours. Don is always good for a story, and one of them he told me was about a time when the original Slade had been to a restaurant for a meal. The restaurant had one of them fiddlers going from table to table, entertaining the guests, but he was really lousy and the guys made fun of him. The violinist got really annoyed and in the end he decided that he wouldn’t stand for it. All angry he went to Slade’s table and said, “If you think it’s that easy, you try it!” And then he handed his violin to….Jim! Need I say more?
Then it was time for Hanne and Don to head home for Silkeborg. Hugs and kisses all around, and they were off. I was to go home as well, Slade’s driver had promised to drive me to the station, but in the end he couldn’t after all. There was a waiting time on taxis, so there was no way I could catch the last train in time. I was really in a fix! A Slade-fan then bailed me out by saying that I could share his rooms with him and his daughter. They had 2 rooms, and that really saved me from freezing to death for 4 hours outside the railway station! Thanks!
Early next morning we checked out and this time I got a taxi to the station. I caught a train at 8.50 a.m. and of course it was full, so I had to stand up for two hours all the way home.
It had been a lovely concert, only the circumstances had been far from optimal. But you were great, guys. As usual! See you all in April.


At 8:48 PM, Blogger Klaus said...

Hi Lise
My oldest son and I went to the concert. It was a very special occasion for me to have my son with me to an event like this. When I was in the Vejlby-Risskov Hallen in 1973 and 1974 with a lot of other young people, I couldn´t imagine being to a Slade concert with my son 33 years later. We just loved it. I was like 13 again and my son who is a great musician himself could see the quality of the music. We had a great time together with all the other nice people who went to the concert instead of sitting at home whatcing MGP. You are right - It was a very fine concert. They really did their best. I think we will go and see the concert in Silkeborg in april.

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Lise Lyng Falkenberg said...

Hi Klaus,
You should have come foreward to say hello! Hope you do at the Silkeborg-concert. I'll be there!


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