CONCERT REVIEW: SLADE – SWG3, Glasgow 17th December 2019

Photo Credit Stevie Wilson

Slade are back on tour with their annual Christmas shows and stop off to give the Reindeer’s a rest in SWG3

Slade are the original ‘bovver boys’ of British music.  Their following, once clad in Doc Martens, rolled up jeans and braces are nowadays a far cry from what they once were, and to be fair, so are the band.  Only guitarist Dave Hill remains from the original line-up tonight, but he still bounds around the stage with the same energy and huge big smile on his face as he always did, but minus the 8-inch platform shoes!  Joining Hill tonight were John Berry on bass, violin and vocals, Russell Keefe on keyboards, guitar and vocals and Alex Bines on Drums and percussion.

Tonight’s setlist would touch on all areas of the bands career.  Opening with foot stomper “Take Me Bak ‘Ome” from 1972, this is the bands second number one UK single, and one of a remarkable run of 12 singles from 1971 to 1975, the lowest chart position being number 4 and includes six number 1’s and three number 2 singles, such was the height of their popularity in the early 70’s.  “Lock Up Your Daughters”, “Look Wot You Dun” and “Everyday” followed on before the band’s first number one “Coz I Luv U”, with John Berry on electric violin.  The bands last top 10 single came next, which was a period of resurgence for the band in the mid-eighties, with “Run Runaway”, a 1984 top 7 hit. 

The setlist was full of hits and they Glasgow audience were loving the nostalgia.  The chart toppers kept coming with “Far Far Away”, from the bands venture into the movies, their film Flame hitting the big screens in 1975.  “Gudbuy T’Jane” and “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” closed the first part of the set and the band took a well-deserved break before returning for a 3-song encore. 

The bands 1983 ‘love song’ “My Oh My” came next with Dave Hill conducting a singalong with the audience, before bursting into arguably their most recognisable track “Cum On Feel The Noize”.  Being Christmas, the band would be lynched if they left the venue without playing their 1973 monster hit “Merry Christmas Everybody”, easily the bands biggest selling single and their last UK number one single, and with Santa hats proudly on display they belted out the anthem and were joined in a mass karaoke with the Glasqow crowd. A fine end to a fine evening.

Back in the 1970s, Slade were a big deal, never out the charts and never far from the number one spot.  These days they are seen as a bit of a novelty act, but tonight they showed they could still play and do justice to their old hits.  They’re one of those bands everyone has to see at least once and tonight they were on good form, the band enjoying themselves and the crowd leaving more than satisfied.  For fans of 70s music, of cheesy pop tunes and looking for a decent night out, catch Slade while you can.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Review and Photographs by Stevie Wilson