Noddy Holder - vocals, guitar; James Lea - bass, vocals; Dave Hill - guitar, vocals; Don Powell - drums
Although Slade saw their biggest commercial success between 1972 and 1974, they were still riding high on the rock 'n' roll mountain when they recorded this show at London's New Victoria Theatre. It was captured for BBC Radio1 as the second part of the "Insight" radio show entitled "Six Days On The Road" that was transmitted in August of 1975.
Formed in 1966 in the English industrial midlands as the N'Betweens the band soon built up a formidable following on the live circuit playing their own versions of contemporary rock covers and obscure U.S. R&B records. A name change to Ambrose Slade and a record deal with Fontana records followed, but it wasn't until 1969 when they were signed up by former Jimi Hendrix manager and Animals bass player Chas Chandler did Slade begin to make themselves known to a wider audience.
Chandler changed their name to simply Slade and it was he along with publicist Keith Altham who changed their image to that of "Britain's first skinhead band," a move that - while it got them the publicity they wanted - didn't help with any chart success until 1971, when they released their version of an obscure Bobby Marchan track entitled "Get Down With It" which propelled the band into the chart of the day with a #16 hit. By now they had grown their hair, and as the UK's flagship TV pop show, Top Of The Pops was now being transmitted in color, they adopted a "primary colors rule" approach and were one of the pioneering bands of the glam look. "Get Down With It" was soon followed up by the first of their six UK #1 hits "Coz I Luv."
Slade then embarked upon a five-year run of constant chart success in their homeland and were huge in Europe and Australia. Despite many attempts at breaking the US market they never really caught on with the record buying public but were influential nonetheless with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, who witnessed them at New York's Academy. Simmonds has recently admitted that without Slade, there would have been no KISS.
It was to take America another decade before Slade received their first chart hits with the early eighties hits "My Oh My" and "Run Runaway." This success followed the publicity they received after Quiet Riot had scored successive #1 US hits with covers of two of Slade's biggest hits "Cum On Feel The Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now," the latter which can be heard here as the show's closer.
This show was recorded on the 26th of April 1975, the second of two nights at the New Victoria Theatre as the band were touring to promote the soundtrack LP from their feature film Flame which had been released to critical acclaim in their homeland. Many of the songs here are from that album including "How Does It Feel," widely regarded as the band's finest moment. The classic hits are represented too, including "Gudbuy T'Jane," "Far Far Away" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" as well as long time stage favorite "Just A Little Bit," which features the blistering bass of virtuoso Jimmy Lea.