Me and Slade

Birmingham Odeon Christmas 1982 and the stage is set for a Slade Christmas Experience.

So picture this. It’s the 20th of December, just 5 days before Christmas. The foyer of the Birmingham Odeon is a throng of people. Awash of denim jackets plastered in various rock and metal bands badges. Having come in from the cold the place is warm, really warm. And here we are to see Slade, and at Christmas.

This is my first ever concert. My friend and I, have just been dropped off by my parents and excited to find our seats. And great seats they were. What I remember we were only about 15 rows back from the stage. The place was buzzing and what struck me and never really seen it since, at any other concert. It was the generation mix. For example right in front of us is a gran with her grandson.

Cold Chisel

The support band were Cold Chisel. And I don’t really remember much of their set. Other than they were okay. And my mate just saying later, that they were AC/DC wannabes. They coming from Australia. Only years later did I appreciate how big they are in Australia and Khe Sanh (played at the concert, that I remember) and Flame Trees, being my personal favourites.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Don’t get me wrong, Slade had some great songs Cum On Feel Noize and Lock Up Your Daughters. But that night. 5 nights before Christmas, we were all there for that Slade Christmas Experience. So, by the time we got to the second encore, the place was going nuts. And then…

Enter from the side of the stage Noddy comes out dressed in his ‘famous Father Christmas costume’. And the nuts level goes even higher, with balloons that have be netted to the ceiling drifting down. The crowd playfully punching them all over the place and my mate and I whacking each other with them. Carnival atmosphere. Then, it starts… Are you hanging your stocking on the wall? It was just one fun packed Christmas Party.

Merry Christmas Everybody one of the most recognisable Christmas songs and for many probably their favourite and the best Christmas, Christmas Number Ones. To have experienced Slade playing just 5 days before Christmas Day was absolute Christmas magic.

A large part of my teenage years was spent going to the Birmingham Odeon, to see some great bands from the Eighties, particularly Big Country and Ultravox. Happy memories. But seeing Noddy Holder coming out in that Father Christmas costume and the balloons, will always be a special Christmas highlight. And I never did get a denim jacket…