May 24, 2008
I spent the morning sightseeing in Haugesund and I even found a record shop, Shabby Records, that had Slade-related stuff in their window. Some was promotion material from Polydor, 1972, on which people could bid.
Slade reached the hotel around one o’clock, but as they couldn’t check in until three, Helge Berthelsen took them to the restaurant belonging to the venue. Don and I sat outside having tea while the others were eating. Don didn’t eat, because as he says, he’s a bit like a camel. He stocks up on food and then goes for days without eating. He hadn’t had anything since Wednesday! While we sat there he got recognised by both the police and a hen night party.
We then went back to the hotel to clean up before sound check, which took almost 2½ hours. After that Lars Ove and Jostein had arranged a private screening of Flame for the fans. Among them were Björn, Jan and German Bernard and it was very nice meeting them. The screening was to take place in one of the venue’s many rooms and Don had accepted to be present. In the end Dave and Robin came along as well, and Don and Dave talked to fans and signed autographs before the screening. Dave and Robin had to leave before the film finished in order to rest before the show, but Don and I sat through the whole screening. After that Don thanked the fans and especially Lars Ove and Jostein for their support and the screening. It was all very nice and the fans appreciated Don being there.
The band got ready for the concert and Jostein and Lars Ove had arranged a seat for me on the balcony with a great view of the stage. Unfortunately it was a bit dark there, so I didn’t get that many good pics, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find some on other websites! In any case the concert was fantastic. As Jostein said, they had never had such a wonderful atmosphere at the Byscenen venue before. The set list was the same as the day before and the crowd was really up and going. Even on the balconies where people had dined before the concert, everybody was on their feet, stomping, clapping and singing along. I could actually feel the balcony sway a bit under my feet, but luckily not as bad as in London Palladium back in 1973! The concert was totally sold out, so the audience counted 700 and Slade were at their best. Mal was singing Cool Corona during Red Hot and Don was really like a clockwork. It took a lot longer than usual for John to switch from violin to bass in Run Runaway so Don was doing the rhythm on drums, while the audience clapped along. Before John returned, the whole audience was two bars ahead of Don, but of course it was Don’s tempo that was the correct one. Dave was singing the Napoleon XIV-hit They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa before Get Down, and John must have been watching Karate Kid as he was almost doing “The Crane” when getting his boots out for the same song. Afterwards the e-mails were ticking in on Helge Berthelsen’s mobile saying how much people had enjoyed the show.
After the show the guys went backstage to change. I was standing in the corridor with Abbie and Anna and we were trying our best to avert our eyes in order not to turn into stone. Then we all had a drink and something to eat and I talked to Dave about Don’s biography before we went to the hotel for a small out-door after party. Everybody was there and we enjoyed the light Norwegian night, eating chocolates and crisps and telling bad jokes. I sat next to Don and Robin, so we all fought over the stale chocolates that Robin had brought along from the venue. At four o’clock I went to bed after a great day.