With no less than 23 Top-20 singles of which 6 were No-1 smash hits – plus 6 smash albums, without a shadow of doubt, SLADE are one of the most exciting bands to come out of Great Britain in the past 50 years. With their unique blend of perfect pop- rock’n’roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun, they have, and still are a firm favourite in the hearts of pop fans all over the world.
Prior to lockdown the guys had a load of dates in the diary, including one here in South Wales. Well now they have all been rescheduled and we get to see them at the Tramshed in Cardiff this December, and if ever there was a time to see the guys live, then it has to be over the festive period – Merry Xmas Everybody.
Before we go through this incredible 60 year career of the band I want to give a bit of personal tale here if you don’t mind.
A few years back I was at the opening of a nightclub in Wiltshire, sat in the VIP area, sipping on a diet coke (I’m classy like that), when in walked Dave Hill, guitarist with Slade.
Now, if you’ve ever seen Dave he really is a once seen never forgotten sort of guy – it’s the hat thing I reckon. In any case, he sat down and began chatting. Yes, of course you’re expecting me to say what a lovely, charming, funny guy he is – which he was, but as I sat there listening to him reminisce about days on the road, I realised I was sat next to pop royalty. And the figures themselves explain why.
SLADE first hit the road in 1966, touring throughout Great Britain and Europe and becoming a regular concert attraction. Joining forces with the former Animals bass guitarist and Jimi Hendrix Experience manager, Chas Chandler, Slade achieved their first chart hit in May 1971 with the Bobby Marchan song “Get Down And Get With It” then, released in October of the same year “Coz I Luv You” was the bands first No-1 and a huge hit across Europe.
Throughout the seventies, Slade became one of Europe’s biggest bands, touring and recording continually and making regular trips to America, Japan and other parts of the world. Slade’s catalogue of hits are synonymous with the era:- “Take Me Bak ‘Ome”, “Mama We’er All Crazee Now”, “Cum On Feel The Noize”, “Gudbye T’ Jane“, along with the many others provided a soundtrack to the Glam Generation and are still today, heavily featured on any retrospective of the time.
It’s those enduring songs which we simply can’t resist, all driven by Dave’s unique guitar sound/ In fact many of them – “Far Far Away”, “Cum On Feel The Noize” and “Coz I Luv You” are still featured today in TV commercials for some of the Worlds biggest companies.
At the beginning of the eighties, Slade were invited to appear at the Reading Rock Festival, a massive annual event which attracted over 100,000 people. They literally stole the show, giving some of the worlds biggest rock bands a serious run for their money whilst kindling new interest from a whole new audience. As a result, the band signed a new record deal and unleashed the anthem “We’ll Bring The House Down“, which reached the Top-10 in the UK in January 1981. Slade were back!
Not content to rest on their Glam laurels, Slade began forging a new path through the hugely influential British heavy rock scene. A second successful appearance at Castle Donnington in 1981, before a crowd of over 60,000 people, consolidated the bands position and paved the way for the single “Lock Up Your Daughters”, and the album “Til Deaf Do Us Part”.
While Slade were busy in the UK releasing the massive hit “My Oh My” to huge acclaim, LA metal band Quiet Riot were spreading the word Stateside with their version of “Cum On Feel The Noize”, which proved so successful that they followed it up with “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. Throughout the start of the eighties Slade toured and recorded due to them once again being a major force in British pop’n’rock.
The early nineties saw the bands “Radio Wall Of Sound” hit the UK Top-30 and thereby give Slade a solid 30 year chart run!
SLADE HITS & TOP 20 CHART POSITIONS
Coz I Luv You (1)
Look Wot You Dun (4)
Take Me Bak ‘Ome (1)
Gudbuy T’Jane (2)
Cum On Feel The Noize (1)
Skweeze Me Pleeze Me (1)
My Friend Stan (2)
Merry Christmas Everybody (1)
Bangin’ Man (3)
Far Far Away (2)
How Does It Feel (15)
All Join Hands (15)
Thanks For The Memory (Wham Bam Thank You Mam) (7)
In For A Penny (11)
Let’s Call It Quits (11)
We’ll Bring The House Down (10)
My Oh My (2)
Run Run Away (7)
SLADE have continued to tour the world. They are firm favourites on the lucrative German festival scene and undertake an annual UK “Merry Christmas Everybody” tour in December. They have a huge following of fans and regularly play concert dates in Germany, Poland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Spain & France. Having just returned from a festival in Gibraltar, next stop is Greenland and Faroe Islands.
Slade today is still one of the most exciting bands on the road, and their stage performance is a dynamic, powerful and exhilarating roller-coaster ride of pure unadulterated rock’n’roll.
And the musical pedigree of the band today is impeccable. Led by founder member Dave Hill on Lead Guitar with John Berry who joined in 2003 on Lead Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar and Violin. John has also played Bass with Mud, The Sweet, Screaming Lord Sutch,The Tremeloes, Bay City Rollers & The Rubettes.
Joining John on Lead Vocals and Keys is Russell Keefe, having played in many original bands in his early years, he has also recorded albums for Polygram & United Artists, Russell has toured with The Pretty Things and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, Alex Bines now joins on Drums, Alex has toured with Wilko Johnson, The Rubettes and is also a Drum teacher.
The rescheduled tour with SLADE actually kicks off at the Tramshed in Cardiff on Friday 3rd December, and as you can see from Craig Pellat’s footage below, they are great fun live, and you’ll be singing along to every song. You can get tickets for the show HERE.
And it you’d like to see what the guys are up to now, you can take a look, and follow them on these links…..