Posts Tagged ‘Slade’

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The number of artists appearing is pretty huge and features some bands that went on to become major artists in the latter half of the 70s and beyond, There were also many worthy artists such as Rory Gallagher, Humble Pie and The Incredible String Band, compared to festivals such as the Isle of Wight or Bath there were not as many big names that would draw fans from the far corners of the country to attend. The roof of the main stage consisted of  polyethylene sheets held up by a crane . A large marquee ( circus tent ) had collapsed and been abandoned. The people running the concession stands looked worried  and came on with the hard sell. The word was they would be lucky to break even . No more than 40, 000 people came and many of them did not stick out the full four days. The organizers were going to end up with a loss of 100.000 pounds., having forgotten that ticket sellers know a dozen ways to line their own pockets and that pass out tickets can be resold with ease.

Fridays nights lineup was a pretty spartan one , with no really big name bands featuring . This was perhaps fortunate as the smallish audience was on the receiving end of some of the worst weather . When Alexis Korner and band ( Peter Thorup , Ian Wallace, Boz and Mel Collins ) opened up his set was marred by heavy rain after only a few numbers. Alexis did not kick up a storm but Dr Isiah Ross who followed him, essentially a one man band – managed to deliver the goods . Buddy Miles eight piece band delivered a blistering set that was noticeable for the tightness of the rhythm section, Buddy Miles being complemented by Ronald Johnson on bass. Humble Pie (this was one of their 1st if not the 1st gigs with the new replacement for Peter Frampton, Dave “Clem” Clemson, from Bakerloo.) They were very good, too .The crowd hit the ceiling when they broke into “I Don’t Need no Doctor”.

Rory Gallagher played a very popular acoustic set featuring numbers like Pistol Slapping Blues and Going to My Home Town and this brought the audience to life, proving that given the right mix of charisma , good songs and fine playing the weather becomes irrelevant, Rory Gallagher who really knows how to handle open air playing , set some huddled bodies moving under the protective plastic  coverings

An audience of 25,000 showed up for Saturday, which would have disappointed the organisers. The poor weather continued to drench the audience , rain and high winds were battering the stage at times. The opening bands struggled to get through to the wet audience, huddling in their plastic wraps. The first ever performance by Roxy Music at a festival went pretty much unheralded , Steve Goodman received a luke warm response and even the great Albert Lee of Heads Hands and Feet could not rouse the audience to their collective feet. Even specially written numbers such as “ Great Western Shuffle ‘ did not bring them to life. The Great Western Express Festival was billed as the ‘festival they could not stop’ and was held at Bardney near Lincoln UK over the period Friday 26th May 1972 to Monday 29th May 1972. The advance ticket price of £4.50 got you four days worth of music including, Genesis, Rory Gallagher, Don McLean. the Beach Boys, the Faces, Joe Cocker, Monty Pythons Flying Circus etc.
Rory and his band headlined the first night and also were on again on the Saturday in place of Helen Reddy who apparently was pregnant and unable to attend.

Wishbone Ash were generally festival crowd pleasers , as their twin guitar attack gave them an extra attack. set was a reasonable explanation of why their Argus album. They weren’t allowed to do an encore due to lack of time but the crowd would have been happy to have had them back for more.

Rory Gallagher (replacing Helen Reddy who was unwell due to her imminent pregnancy ) played a short set as the opener for the evening session and once again , he did a sterling job . The Strawbs were next and they had a few sound problems which marred their set . Stone the Crows, minus guitarist Les Harvey, who had been electrocuted onstage a few weeks before in freak accident , were received rapturously by the audience. Let down at the last moment by Peter Green, who was supposed to take over Les’s spot, the band were fortunate to have recruited Steve Howe of Yes , who stepped in and did a great job at two days notice. One of the most poignant was Stone the Crows singer Maggie Bell. There had been many rumours about if they would play and who would be on guitar, even up to a day before there were rumours that Peter Green would step in. The most memorable moment was when halfway through the set Maggie dedicated the song “Fool on the Hill” in memory of Les, she sang the song with tears in her eyes and I have never yet heard anyone put so much emotion into a song. With Jon Anderson sitting in on backing vocals, Maggie Bell delivered a vocal tour de force, no doubt purging herself of the grief associated with the loss of Les through her impassioned performance. Rod Stewart and the Faces could not manage to top the Crows, they went down well, but reports say this was a show that was more or less going through the motions ( as many Faces shows tended to be in this era ).

Sunday was a bit better weather wise but during the night the folk tent had blown down and some of the acts booked to play there were rescheduled onto the main stage itself. The first highlight was the fantastic reception given to Lindisfarne , with half the audience apparently claiming to be from the groups home town of Newcastle. The bill toppers for the Sabbath were the Beach Boys and for them it was one of the more bulls eye success on this their best relieved UK tour ever. Sunday was the Beach Boys set ,They were going through their “big beards and hats” phase. They took the stage about 11pm and closed 2 hours later with “Good Vibrations” and “Caroline No”. Reclusive genius Brian Wilson was introduced but did not play with the band. Then the fans were stomping in the mud along with Slade playing surprisingly well live for a “pop group” Roxy Music, before they were famous.

Joe Cocker with the Chris Stainton Big Band – his first show after years of seclusion with alcohol and drug addiction. Everyone was waiting for Joe Cocker, the festivals closing set and headline attraction. But first a succession of medium rank British artists like Jonathan Kelly, Jackson Heights and Vinegar Joe. And then immediately before Cocker, came the group which for many people stole the show. Sha Na Na already pretty big over here, the British feel for nostalgia being what it is . The sun shone for a few seconds and the group had to do three encores.
Cocker
had already lost but it was made worse by the damp hour wait that preceded his set. He didn’t look thrilled by his reception , didn’t seem to care. He sang well, but it was his blasé attitude that largely turned off the audience.

Clive Palmer said The place was decimated by a hurricane the night before; it smashed up all the caravans so there was no accommodation. They put everyone on for half-an-hour in succession on the day we were there. It was all muddy. Typical disaster festival.’ Or, as the Lincolnshire Echo so eloquently put it on 27th May: ‘Festival fans fight wind, rain in pop swamp.

Hamish Imlach had been playing in Droitwich on Friday night and arrived at the site at 4am: ‘I was supposed to have a caravan to sleep in and had the paperwork to get me through the gates. Thousands of people were still arriving. I got through but couldn’t find anyone to direct me to the caravan, and ended up sleeping in the car with cement sacks over me until seven am. It was freezing and pissing with rain. I squelched through the mud to learn that the marquees had blown down, so we wouldn’t be performing but we would still probably get our money.’ However, the folk singers, the only ones with acoustic instruments, had a great session in the artists’ bar, Mick Softley going round all the big stars with a cleaned-out ashtray to collect money for their drinks.
At nine am on Sunday word came round that the acoustic artists would be put on the main stage. Hamish wasn’t keen. ‘I was talking to Clive Palmer and he said his group were going to go on the main stage. I said, “Ach, if you go on I’ll go on. We only had to do three numbers each anyway. I can do that even though I’m wrecked.” We went up, eleven o’clock on a Sunday morning, the start of the official programme, and there was a fair crowd sitting there. They were all pissed off; soggy, harassed by the police, ripped off by everybody. I chose the right songs, in the right place at the right time. I got three encores, everybody going daft, Stanley Baker shaking me by the hand and offering me a ride in his helicopter!’.

Next month, BMG will issue a “Feel The Noize: The Singlez Box!” a new Slade vinyl box set filled with 10 seven-inch singles in a box set . This is a ‘strictly limited edition’ vinyl box which features ten ‘internationally released’ seven-inch singles with the artwork from the respective European country where it was released.

The singles start with the band’s first UK number one, ‘Coz I Luv You’ which was issued in 1971 and in fact five of the first six singles in this box set all hit the top of the UK chart (‘Gudbuy T’Jane’ peaked at number two) which is a reminder, if one was needed, at the phenomenal popularity of Slade in the early 1970s

The next three songs included here – ‘My Friend Stan’, ‘Everyday’ and ‘Far Far Away’ – were all top three singles and the seven-inch box then skips forward six years to recreate the rare 1980 promo single of ‘Night Starvation’. This was one of three new songs on the Six of the Best EP of the same year (the B-side of this promo single ‘When I’m Dancin’ I Ain’t Fightin’ was also a new track that featured on the same EP).

“Feel The Noize: The Singlez Box!” will be released on 31st May 2019.

1 T-Rex, Hot Love February 1971

Marc Bolan’s third huge hit in a row, No 1 for four weeks. His Top of the Pops performance showed him going truly imperial, with flying-V guitar, pink trousers, silver jacket and, prompted by his friend and colleague Chelita Secunda, glitter on his cheekbones.

2 David Bowie, Queen Bitch December 1971

“There should be some real unabashed prostitution in this business,” Bowie told Cream magazine in late 1971. He did his best to make it happen with this Velvet Underground tribute, saturated in homosexuality and Manhattan sleaze. Mick Ronson’s guitar slices through everything.

3 Alice Cooper, School’s Out April 1972

From Detroit by way of LA, these hard rockers had been wearing makeup and frocks since 1969, so were well-suited to the glam imperative. School’s Out was a definitive entrant in the teenage rampage stakes and scored hard with the kids, hitting No 1 for three weeks in the summer holidays.

4 Roxy Music, Virginia Plain August 1972

With Bryan Ferry’s ultra-stylised performance and Eno’s other wordly synth shrieks, this one definitely arrived from Planet Mars in the late summer of 1972. Chock-full of pop art and pop culture references, Virginia Plain was nothing less than a manifesto for a new age: “So me and you, just we two, got to search for something new.”

5 Mott The Hoople, All the Young Dudes July 1972

Bowie may have provided the raw material, but Mott gave the definitive performance of this generation-defining song, with its sneering reference to the Beatles and the Stones. The musicians curled and uncurled around Ian Hunter’s snarling voice: “Oh is there concrete all around/ Or is it in my head.”

6 Lou Reed, Vicious November 1972

Another Bowie production, and another career revival. Vicious begins Reed’s second solo album in exactly the way that you would wish, with the poet laureate of Manhattan spitting out the Warhol inspired lyrics – “Vicious: you hit me with a flower” – while Mick Ronson, cutting through everything, embodies the song’s threat.

7 David Bowie, The Jean Genie November 1972

Bowie reached back to his 60s R&B days with this one, based on the old I’m a Man riff but updated with Ronson’s buzzing guitar, burlesque rhythms, gay double entendres – his by-now patented patch. The band did a fantastic Top of the Pops performance, recently rediscovered.

8 Slade, Cum On Feel the Noize February 1973

This was their fourth No 1 in 18 months, which gave guitarist Dave Hill an excuse – as if he needed it – to wear ever more outrageous outfits on Top of the Pops. An anthemic chorus and a lyric that’s a direct invitation “to get wild, wild, wild”.

9 Roxy Music, Editions of You March 1973

“For Your Pleasure” – with model and singer Amanda Lear on the cover – is one of the period’s few coherent albums, and this 120mph rocker is one of its hidden pleasures: a camp-saturated male bonding song, featuring ooohs, sirens, and the immortal line, “boys will be boys will be boyoyoys”.

10 Bonnie St Claire, Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet May 1973

With its stomping tunes and rock’n’roll roots, glam was huge on the continent – blending, as it would, into Europop – and this is a great entrant from Holland, featuring Beach-Boys’ style backing vocals, terrace handclaps, and of course the ever-present Chuck Berry riffs.

11 T-Rex, 20th Century Boy May 1973

It could have been any of the four top-two hits that T-Rex had in 1972 – particularly Metal Guru – but this was the toughest of them all: a furious rocker with a heroic riff that showed, plain for all to see, just how well Bolan understood the nature of pop fame – 20th century toy, I wanna be your boy.

12 Iggy and the Stooges, Search and Destroy June 1973

Iggy wore silver, the Stooges were produced by David Bowie, the record sounded glam – all treble tones and slicing guitar – but Search and Destroy, like its parent album Raw Power, went much further and deeper than hardly anyone wished in 1973. Three years later, it would find its time.

13 New York Dolls, Trash July 1973

Simultaneously ludicrous and tough, sloppy and hard, vicious and tender – just listen to those soaring, girl-group harmonies – Trash was, along with Jet Boy, the Dolls‘ big pop move. It being 1973, of course, there could only have been one question: “Uh, how do you call your lover boy?” In the US, they didn’t answer.

14 The Sweet, The Ballroom Blitz September 1973

The Sweet were on a roll after Blockbuster and this may well be the archetypal glam song: teenage hysteria – check; camp interjections and beyond over the top TV costumes – check; a stomping beat, tough guitar riffs and a fey vocal – check. Unstoppable and still thrilling: the contrived becomes real.

15 Mud, Dyna-Mite October 1973

Written by the Sweet svengalis, Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, “Dyna-Mite” stays firmly within the ballroom – glam’s central location – during this relentless stomper. Mud yocked it up on Top of the Pops with ludicrous flares and a spot of aceing – the biker’s dance, shoulder to shoulder – and the future Sex Pistols were listening.

16 Suzi Quatro, Devil Gate Drive January 1974

Quatro had gold-plated garage credentials – her first band, the Pleasure Seekers, had recorded What a Way to Die in 1966 – and this, her fourth hit (No 1 for two weeks), mixes rock’n’roll with a hint of the Burundi beat, while continuing the explosive club/ballroom theme of the time with a hint of autobiography.

17 Sparks, This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us April 1974

Sparks were the late great glam flash: tricky, artificial, super-hooky and high-concept, with a hard rocking band and definitive high gloss sleeves. They took a song with the lyric “you hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers” all the way to No 2, and made it seem natural.

18 David Bowie, Rebel Rebel US version May 1974

Bowie’s goodbye to the youth movement he had helped to form – “You’ve got your mother in a whirl, because she’s not sure whether you’re a boy or a girl” – and his last top 10 hit for 18 months. This US mix has dreamy backwards harmonies, extra percussion and phased guitar.

19 Iron, Virgin Rebels Rule June 1974

Almost all the great glam records were hits, but this is one of the best that wasn’t: an abrasive slice of Sweetarama from a Scottish band, who toughened up the teenage-rampage meme while wearing Clockwork Orange-inspired costumes. The singer had a padlock on his crotch with the legend: “No Entry.”

20 Sweet, The Sixteens July 1974

A four-minute mini-opera on the theme of failed youth revolution, and a summer top-10 hit, this shows the renamed group – having lost the definite article – rising to the song’s complex structure with a totally convincing performance. The Sixteens is a classic of teen disillusionment, at the point of glam’s supersession.