Odds and sods about the British rock band Slade

Monday, October 08, 2007

Slade in Vejle

On Friday the 5th of October my daughter Tea and I took the train to the town Vejle here in Denmark where Slade was to play. We arrived at 5.30 p.m. and found the band sound checking in the venue which was situated on the 3rd floor of a huge conference centre. Straight away Tea noticed that John had had his hair cut – she has always admired his long hair!
We had arrived at the end of the sound check and the guys came off stage and said hello. Dave was in an awfully good mood and greeted us with a ”Hi, mates”. Then we went with Don downstairs to the 2nd floor where the dressing rooms were situated and then further down to the ground floor where the restaurant was. It was a very big and confusing place, that conference centre, and I spent a good part of the evening running from the restaurant downstairs to the dressing rooms on the second floor and the venue on the third floor looking for Tea. Oh, well…
Tea and I had already eaten in the train, but the band got their dinner and so did road crew Robin and Johnny, Johnny having taken over after Tim. After dinner we went with Don back to the dressing room, then down to the restaurant again etc. etc. As I said it was a very confusing place where you had to go from one floor to another quite a lot.
Finally a bit after 8 o’clock we took the lift from the restaurant to the venue. It was a tiny lift. Although the sign said 8 people allowed we could hardly fit in, although we were only Don, Tea, myself and a hotel guest in it. Don said that the 8 people allowed must all be Tea’s size and the hotel guest wondered if the lift was Chinese. It was quite a fun ride.
We found Hanne upstairs at the venue talking to hardcore fans Per and Kirsten. It was great seeing them all again. Then it was back to the dressing room where other fans and friends of the band joined us. The whole concert had been postponed for an hour for some reason, so although Sweet (who was to play first) should have been on stage at 8, the concert didn’t start until 9 o’clock.
In the meantime we did the usual running from floor to floor and I managed to find Slade-fan Mark who had flown in from England to see the concert. He and Don had a good chat about the old days down under as Mark is from New Zealand.
Sweet had the audience up and going and when they left the stage the whole venue was steaming. And I mean it literally. Not only had Sweet had people cheering them on, but the venue as such was also unbelievably hot. The venue took about 700 people and it was full. During intermissions you could go outside on a balcony, but when the music was on the doors were shut, which made the place horribly hot. The balcony was crowded as well as it was where people had to go to smoke. Since August 15 it has been forbidden in Denmark to smoke in public places so all the smokers had to use the balcony. Even the artists! They had to force their way through the crowds at the venue to get there. A good thing that Don likes to talk to fans!
Back in the dressing room I had Don pose for me, as I usually don’t get any good shots of him during concerts. I’m simply too short to look up over the stage! So Don started drumming in the air for me and I got my shot. As fate would have it I later took some okay shots of Don during the concert!
Anyway, at 10.45 p.m. Johnny introduced Slade and the guys were greeted with cheers. As the venue had a lot of small doorsteps which were difficult to spot, Dave, Mal and John entered the stage tripping over one of them in what looked like a Marx Brothers parody. Or maybe it was the 3 Stooges? The set list went like this:
We’ll Bring The House Down
Take Me Bak ‘Ome
Lock Up Your Daughters
Far Far Away
Red Hot
Look Wot You Dun
‘Coz I Luv You
Run Runaway
My Oh My
Gudbuy T’Jane
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Get Down And Get With It
Cum On Feel The Noize
Merry Xmas Everybody
There wasn’t much banter on stage from Mal although he did crack up laughing when introducing Look Wot You Dun. But as mentioned Dave was in a fantastic mood which was appreciated by the crowds. He was very careful when stripping before Everyday and when they did Red Hot he even removed his hat and placed it on top of Mal’s.
When the audience didn’t get into the sing-along straight away during ‘Coz I Luv You both Dave and John looked at the crowds like stern school masters and John even started tapping Dave on the head with his violin-bow. John was letting himself go more than usual at this concert, dancing around during Run Runaway, sticking his boot out during Get Down and getting into a bit of slapstick when trying to reach down to Dave’s microphone during Cum On Feel The Noize. But Dave’s good mood was what characterised the concert. He started singing nonsense at the beginning of Run Runaway, he showed the audience how he makes his Super Yob guitar blink and he mimiced Mal when Mal introduced Get Down.
Don also seemed to have a good time, at least he was probably not as close to fainting from the heat as the rest of us, because he had a fan on stage, which made his hair fly all over. Don smoked on stage (very naughty, Don!) during the encores and he did one of his funny dances behind the drums before MXE. Dave introduced MXE by saying, “It’s always Christmas in Denmark. It’s always a pleasure to be in Denmark.” And then he went on commenting on Per and Kirsten’s Christmas hats and the incredible heat.
The clock was past midnight before Slade went off stage, 1½ hours late. That didn’t leave Tea and me much time before we had to catch our train back. We managed to spent 20 minutes with Hanne, Don and the rest of the band and Dave was still in an excellent mood. While Don and I stood talking Dave even pinched me while passing us!
Anyway, Tea and I caught the train back to Odense and were accompanied by Per and Kirsten some of the way. We didn’t reach Odense until 2 a.m. but Tea wasn’t tired at all as she had been taking a nap in the dressing room. I was tired, thought, but it had been a wonderful night out. Thanks, guys, and thanks to Per for letting me use some of his photos.


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