Slade homecoming – December 20, 2018 at The Robin 2

The Black Country – a land of fiery furnaces turning out precision works of metallic art – and the home town of the biggest band of the early 70s: Slade.
The burning coals moved, shifted and throbbed under the roar of guitars and drums; the hands of the devoted waved like tall flames in the heat. This was Slade’s annual homecoming to Bilston.
From the molten bars rolling out Gudbuy T’ Jane through to the manic ferocity of Merry Xmas Everybody, Don Powell, Dave Hill, John Berry and Mal McNulty could do no wrong.
Take Me Back ‘Ome then the almost military precision beat of Look Wot You Dun – penned by drummer Don. The gig at the atmospheric Robin 2 quickly took on a life of its own with the wonderful and emotional lyrics of Everyday, with an anthemic chorus belted out by the closely packed, mass ranks of a rapt crowd, and then Coz I Luv You.
Run, Run Runaway galloped out of the paddock at pace; How Does I Feel gave full rein to the powerful vocals of bassist/violinist John Berry under drummer Don’s tight control; In For A Penny was almost Beatles-like with strong hints of Obladi and Maxwell’s Silver Hammer; My Friend Stan; then Far Far Away; and the American-style rocking blues beat of My Baby Left Me. Slade could have played ‘The Best of the Wombles’ (if there is such a thing) at this stage – the crowd were in collective love with ‘their’ boys.
Mama Weer All Crazee Now remains a practical demonstration of tight drumming, solid complementary bass and a soaring lead guitar from showman Dave Hill for the finale. Get Down and Get With It brought back personal memories of hordes of screaming teenage girls in Wolverhampton Civic Hall, circa 1973, and followed by Master of Ceremonies H conducting My Oh My and Come On Feel The Noize, before Merry Christmas Everybody brought the lights on and home time.
The Robin 2 Christmas gig is not for the faint-hearted, nor for anyone looking for pristine Slade of 40 years ago: it is for fans, who love fans, who love the shared adulation of the band for the fans. (PS. One gripe. I was ‘looking forward’ to a smelly, sticky carpet – and it’s NEW … aaagh.)

4 thoughts on “Slade homecoming – December 20, 2018 at The Robin 2”

  1. Great review, Richard. Every thought of writing for a living?
    Saw them in London last nite. Good nite out with some great friends.
    Best wishes,

    1. Wot a good idea. First I’ll learn how to spell ‘night’. LOL Thank you – and it’s great that you had a Slade night with the wonderful lads.

  2. Ah, Slade Back Ome!!!!
    What a fantastic night with Slade. I enjoyed every minute of the Gig. The Support band (The Gin Annie Band) were also very good indeed. It build up the atmosphere for a great night with Slade!!! I got some very good shots with the camera and prime position at the front right under Dave Hill. What more can an old Slade Fan ask for from 1970/71!!
    Don Powell, the driving machine behind the Band. Don even gave me a set of used drumsticks!!!! Absolutely fantastic!!!!

    ‘keep on Rockin Slade’

    1. Well summed up, Michael. Age is someone else’s problem. We’re still the kids we were (well, in my case early 20s) when Slade were becoming the biggest band in Europe.

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