Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Wilfried Mende, former president of the German Slade fan-club, sent me some photos from Slade’s Eduscho-tour in 1977. He doesn’t know who the photographer is, so if anybody out there knows, please contact me so I can credit the pics to him/her.
The Eduscho-tour was sponsored by the German Eduscho Coffee company. The bands involved were the Austrian disco-band Supermax, the Dutch lightweight country/pop band Pussycat (built around the singing Kowalczyk-sisters), Rubettes and then Slade as the top act.
Wilfried Mende saw the show in Hannover and he told me that there were about 2,000 people in the audience. Slade didn’t get on stage until after 11 p.m., though, and by then half of the audience had left in order to catch the last tram! The PA-system was a catastrophe, Nod’s mike was broken and Jim characterized this tour as “worse than World War II”. But at least the photos are great. Thanks, Wilf!
Monday, April 16, 2007
Slade in Silkeborg
My daughter Tea and I took the train from Odense at 10.13 a.m. on the 14th of April to go to a Slade concert. We arrived in Silkeborg two hours later and took the bus to the hotel. We had booked a room in a small summer hotel down the road from Don and Hanne’s place and as soon as we got off the bus there was Don in his car. We went over and said hello and then he was off to the venue. Further down the road we met Hanne as well and when we had said hello to her too we checked in to the hotel.
An hour later we went back to Don and Hanne’s place and Tea met Don’s dog Rocky for the first time. For Tea this was the highlight of the day, although she was surprised at how big he is! Then we were off with Hanne to the venue and we arrived at the same time as Mal and Robin, so we said our hellos to them as well.
The guys were awfully busy and so was Hanne. She works at the venue so she was actually at work and at the same time she had to help out with the band and take care of all the friends and relatives who had shown up for the concert. Tea and I therefore spent the next 5½ hours sitting outside the venue in the lovely sunshine. Even Mal and Dave came out to enjoy a cup of tea in the beautiful hot weather. Tea played by the lake and I chatted a bit with Robin and with hard-core fans Per and Kirsten as well as other fans who came by to say hello.
Tea and I went to get some dinner and around 7.30 p.m. we met up with Don in the dressing room. We had a bit of a chat while a local band opened the show. John, Mal, Robin and some Danish friends were backstage as well. Don had loads of autographs to sign (you used up my pen, Don!) and we talked about hotels, Russia, Bibble Brick and Tea while he did his thing. Don joked that we ought to train Tea to go on stage and introduce Slade when they perform in Denmark and Tea thought it was a brilliant idea! As usual she was ever so fascinated by Don’s white gum shield.
At 9.15 p.m. the guys were on. Don sported a T-shirt with the words “Still at large” and as he had an air conditioner on stage his hair was flying all over. Very rock’n’roll that looked! The set list was:
We’ll Bring The House Down
Lock Up Your Daughters
Take Me Bak ‘Ome
Far Far Away
Look Wot You Dun
‘Coz I Luv You
My Oh My
Hear Ya Callin’
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Get Down And Get With It
and the encores:
Cum On Feel The Noize
Merry Xmas Everybody
It didn’t go unnoticed that the concert was in Silkeborg. Already when introducing Lock Up Mal greeted “Silkeborg – hometown of Don Powell”. And when he talked about Dave before Hear Ya Callin’ he said; “Dave Hill is not from Silkeborg, but he’s thinking of moving here, living with Hanne and Don,” which had everybody laughing.
The guys were in a good mood. Dave did his posing, showing off muscles, before Far Far Away and when he put his leg over his guitar neck during Red Hot John tried to copy him, failing miserably. John had a fit from laughing and it was hilariously funny.
My Oh My had Dave talking about all the beautiful romantic people in Silkeborg which made the audience answer him with a roaring laughter. You see, unknown to Dave Mal was standing behind him, mimicking or maybe rather making fun of him, which kind of spoiled the romantic mood.
Finally MXE had Dave blow kisses left and right and all in all it was a very good concert, which the crowd really enjoyed. I stood up front with Per and Kirsten and the floor beneath us was actually bouncing up and down from the stomping and dancing of the audience.
After the show Don came out into the crowd to sign autographs, shake hands and have his photo taken with friends and fans. We chatted for a while, then we all left the venue around midnight and Hanne drove us to the hotel.
Tea went straight to bed, but I couldn’t sleep, as the bed was really bad for my back. So I spent most of the night sitting outside on the terrace in the mild spring night. It was beautiful with a dark velvet sky, loads and loads of stars and the occasional sound of gurgling water and quacking ducks from the lakes.
Finally I managed to get about 4 hours sleep before we had to get up for breakfast. We were only 4 people staying at the hotel and as the 2 others didn’t get up until later, Tea and I had the whole restaurant to ourselves.
At ten o’clock Don came to pick us up and drive us to the station. We chatted about this and that and at one point he asked if the concert hall hadn’t been very dark the day before. I didn’t think so but when I got home and saw my photos I could see that he was right. I even shot some video at the concert, but that too was rather dark and even wobbly because of the bouncing floor. Oh well, I’ll try to make it available later on, anyway. But bear with me, it may take some time.
When we reached the station Don had a new idea regarding Tea’s choice of career. When he saw her handling my suitcase he suggested that she became a roadie with Slade. Tea is only 8, so she slyly asked if Don really thought he would still be needing a roadie by the time she is all grown up! Anyway, he got her all shy (and beaming!) when he kissed her goodbye. Then he was off to a business meeting at his and Hanne’s place.
Now we just had to make our way back to Odense and of course the train was horribly late. We didn’t reach home until 1.30 p.m. but at least we were greeted with free milkshakes at Odense station! All in all it was quite an eventful 27 hours and hopefully we’ll see the band in concert again here in Denmark in October.
P.S. Don and Hanne did some promotion for the concert on their local TV. You can see it on the Internet, although there is no direct link to it. What you do is this: go to www.tv2regionerne.dk. Then click on “TV2/OSTJYLLAND” on the left. You’ll then find a calendar and here you choose “April 2007, 13”. Now scroll down to “Slade i Silkeborg” on the right. Most of the clip is in Danish, though.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The double-CD ”Rockers” is now released and as usual the good people at Union Square Music have done an excellent job. The CD contains 37 tracks from 1969 to 1987, starting out with Born To Be Wild and ending with You Boyz Make Big Noize.
Although the double CD is labelled a selection of Slade’s hardest-hitting tracks, some are harder than others, but as with all collections, it’s a matter of choice and as such the choice is not bad at all.
Among the songs there’s only one live-track – namely Get Down And Get With It from “Slade Alive!”. Although a brilliant track it seems quite “lonely”, being the only live one. I for one would have either omitted it or used more live-tracks. A replacement of Be from “Whatever Happened To Slade” with the superior live version from “Slade Alive Vol. II” would have been in order.
The tracks are – as always – perfectly remastered by Tim Turan. The quality of the sound is fantastic, you get every little detail which – let’s admit it – sometimes was difficult on the old crackling albums! Especially the drums and bass are highlighted which fits in with the description by Chris Ingham in the accompanying 20 pages booklet: “Drummer Don Powell and bassist Jimmy Lea were a tremendous rhythm section that got the blend of tightness and flashiness in perfect balance.”
Chris Ingham’s track-by-track comments in the booklet are good and enlightening with only few (but grave) mistakes. The b/w photos are quite good as well.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Till Deaf Do Us Part
I’m very pleased with the re-issue of “Till Deaf Do Us Part” from USM as I for one have never been able to get the album with the nail-in-ear cover before! Wonderfully remastered by Tim Turan and with Funk Punk & Junk as sole bonus track.
The 12 pages booklet has Chris Ingham comment on the tracks and on Slade’s complete separation from Chas Chandler. Again Ingham compares the tracks to earlier ones and has a special mention (more than once) of Dave’s M’Hat M’Coat. Also Dave being the originator of the album-title is mentioned.
Like the rest of the re-issues this is a great product, although the booklet pics could have been more exciting, especially the Reading one as there are so many great Reading-shots out there.
We’ll Bring The House Down
“We’ll Bring The House Down” is next up in USM’s re-issues of Slade’s back catalogue. Needless to say that the album is brilliantly remastered by Tim Turan. Furthermore it includes not only the tracks from “WBTHD” but also the “rest” of the tracks from “Return To Base”, so you kinda get 2-in-1. Very nice move.
The album comes with 3 bonus tracks, namely Not Tonight Josephine, Okey Cokey and 9 To 5 and that’s my only objection. I mean, the bonus tracks are fine, but why not include Two Track Stereo – One Track Mind instead of Okey Cokey? Of course Okey Cokey was a single of the time, but people are not very keen (to say the least) on that track and after all Two Track Stereo – One Track Mind WAS the original bonus track along with 9 To 5 on a previous re-release of “Return To Base”. I for one miss that track.
The CD comes with a 12 pages booklet where Chris Ingham briefly runs through the tracks and tells about Slade in the early eighties, how Chas Chandler stopped as their producer etc. spiced with band member-comments from Chris Charlesworth’s “Feel The Noize”-book from 1984.
As usual an appealing product.