If it’s not official enough “it’s Christmas!” from December 3, as one of the most exciting bands to come out of Great Britain during the 1970s, Slade, bring their unique blend of perfect pop rock’n’roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun to Cardiff’s Tramshed.
Featuring original guitar man, Dave Hill, the band will play many of their 23 Top-20 singles including their UK number ones, Coz I Luv You, Take Me Bak ‘Ome, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Cum On Feel The Noize, Skweeze Me Pleeze Me and their seasonal favourite, Merry Xmas Everybody.
Slade Star, Dave Hill’s Love Affair with Wales
The gig has special significance to Dave, a member of Slade since the band formed in 1966, as it was a show, he had hoped to play a year ago, until COVID restrictions closed down all live venues.
“It was disappointing as I’ve always had a great love affair with playing in Wales, Swansea, Barry Island, The Mumbles and Cardiff which has always really special,” Dave explains to Andy Howells.
“I’ve being touring since 1966. Covid caused us to come away from touring for 18 months because there was nowhere to play, and all the theatres were closed.”
How Playing Live Has Helped Slade Survive
Slade had started out playing many small venues, firstly as The N’Betweens and then Ambrose Slade before becoming Slade.
Dave recalls the early touring days as very different to now, “It was different times, no motorways. We all didn’t have cars then, we travelled together in a van, a Commer, later an Austin J2 , but they were fun times! We enjoyed just playing!”
Despite touring for over half a century, Dave still loves the experience. “A lot of people don’t like touring or reach a point in life when it becomes all too much. In my case, even when we were having the hit records it was always about live entertainment. Our first live album was Slade Alive! Playing keeps us alive y’know!
“Slade Alive! was very representative of us before we had hit records. The live shows always helped us, because it always comes back to how we started, what you do later, how you survive, and we’ve had many times when we had to survive!
“When we played Reading Festival in 1980, we were on the verge of not continuing and of course we played that, and it changed our lives, and we were back in the charts! The live show has always been the big deal.”
Dave played alongside Noddy Holder, Jim Lea and Don Powell on all the classic Slade hits, but he is now the only original member of the band.
Slade’s energy however has carried on with the hits recreated for live performance alongside John Berry who joined in 2003 on Lead Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar and Violin, Russell Keefe and Alex Bines on drums.
Recreating the hits on stage is still an exciting experience for Dave.
“I never reach a point when I don’t want to play them, I always DO want to play them. For me, we wrote them, we all played on them and that was what we were working towards as part of our success, and once we had our own songs our act became our songs only.
“Before, we used to do covers, Tamla Motown, the odd Beatles or underground track. Of course, Nod and Jim wrote Because I Luv You and that was a great beginning to what we would become as it reached No.1
Slade’s History on Stage!
Despite, assumptions that Dave might be weary of playing, Merry Xmas Everyone, a track that has become a perennial Christmas classic, he insists it brings him a lot of joy to be part of a song that has given so many fans great memories.
But then, the same could probably be the same for all the bands hits!
“When you’re playing home and abroad its not just about the Christmas song its about all the songs. Of course when we play abroad, we don’t always play the Christmas song. People usually come to see and hear you because they want to hear the hits that made you successful.”
“Having your own songs, it’s your history, it’s what you’ve done!”
Slade play Cardiff’s Tramshed on December 3.