Slade/Sons Of The Seventies -
The Waterfront, Norwich, Sunday, 18th December, 2022
Set List: Tie Your Mother Down/Life In The Fast Lane/Since You’ve Been Gone/Children Of The Revolution/Fool For Your Loving/Sweet Emotion/Immigrant Song/Born to Be Wild/Highway Star/Ballroom Blitz.
As the Sons Of The Seventies took to the stage a heavy version of Queens ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ begins, great start! Image-wise, they looked the part especially Lead Singer, Benjamin Turner who also played guitar. On guitar & keyboards we had Patrick Scott who looked like he was enjoying posing for cameraman, Paul Hampson.
On bass, George Campbell, who occupied the right side of the stage, as we are looking, looked quite menacing and could easily have been part of the Adams Family! Drums were battered with aplomb by Tristan Griffiths. ‘Life In The Fast Lane’ was up next. The Eagles track didn’t quite work for me, but this is quickly followed by Rainbow's ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ which got us all singing along.
By now we realised we were watching a decent covers band, a covers band who the lead singer told us had, driven 5 hours to be here tonight, from The Tram Shed, Cardiff! I found that astonishing because within 30 miles of Norwich there are a multitude of excellent cover bands who would have seized and grasped the opportunity to have this support slot, but instead it goes to a band who have to travel 5 hours, oh well back to the show.
Led Zeps’ ‘Immigrant Song’ was the highlight of me, brilliantly sung and played. The set closer is ‘Ballroom Blitz’, which is Sweet, it goes down a storm. Briefly back to my comment of using local bands for this type of support slot, I appreciate that Sons’ were chosen or paid to be on this tour and they certainly got us up and ready for Slade, I just feel a group closer to each venue would give them much needed exposure.
Set List: Back Ome/Lock Up/Look Wot U Dun/Everyday/Coz I Luv You/Runaway/My Friend Stan/Far Far Away/Banging Man/My Baby Left Me/Gudbuy T'Jane/Mamma, We’re All Crazee Now.
Encore: My Oh My/Come On Feel The Noize/Merry Christmas Everybody.
This is my first encounter with Slade. They have been part of my musical life since I was 10 years old. Tonight, is about one man, that man is Slade, he breathes Slade! That man is Dave Hill. From the moment he appears on stage in his silver sparkling jacket and hat, he is a bouncing bundle of energy and joy. He defies his age as his enigmatic presence takes centre stage. He is like a child at Christmas, full of magic and belief, with smiles that sparkle and glitter that light up the room!
The rest of Slade are now John Berry (Bass/Violin/Vocals, formerly of Mud), Alex Bines (Drums - formerly of The Rubettes & Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders) & Russell Keefe (Keyboards/Vocals). Together they somehow recreate the songs of these titans of glam rock bringing a feel-good factor that few can manage.
Of course, it is all about the hitz because Dave and the fans who are here, are simply here to party. When it comes to hitz, Slade have loadz! Things started with 'Back Ome', we had ‘Gudbuy T'Jane’ ‘My Friend Stan' and an absolute highlight has to be when the white violin came out for’ Coz I Luv U!. ‘Everyday’ was spine-tingling, hair raising and goosebump forming. This version of Slade, have the glitz, the show passing by in a blitz. 'Far, Far Away' is another song that sets us ‘In Flame’.
As the show moved towards its climax and encore Dave brought out his kind of 'Back To The Future' guitar, complete with flashing lights. He continued to bounce, grin, smile and flick his leg out defying his age and the passing years.
Then ‘My Oh My’ began the encores. We all sang along, come on, you could all feel the noise, this was followed by… ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’! Everyone by now in party mood. The party ended with a song about Christmas, I didn’t catch the title but it went something like this, ‘So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun, look to the future now it’s only just begun’, incredible!
We were all having FUN!
Review By Paul 'Rhino' Mace
Photographs By Paul 'Animal' Hampson