Slade in Flame Sometime in early 1975 A personal appearance at Studio 1 Cinema Sunderland

Slade in Flame Sometime in early 1975 A personal appearance at Studio 1 Cinema Sunderland
sladeinflameI lost faith in Slade during 1973 and 1974. I thought they had become too much of a teen pop band, and didn’t feel it was “cool” to go and see them live at the time. I felt that I’d lost that fine loud raucous rock band to the teenage girls who would scream at Noddy and Dave, and go the concerts sporting top hats with silver circles stuck to them, Slade scarves and tartan baggies. So while all the girls at school were going to see them at the City Hall, and telling me how great they were, I resisted the urge to go along. I didn’t fancy standing in a hall full of screaming girls. And anyway, I told myself, I’ve seen them before they “sold out” to celebrity status, when they were a proper rock band. Looking back that was a mistake; its funny how important it was to appear “cool” at the time. And all along I secretly wanted to go and see them again. Still, I consoled myself by spending my time going to see Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Groundhogs, Uriah Heep and lots of other “proper” rock and “underground” bands. My pop side did win through a few times, however, when I went to see T Rex and the Bay City Rollers…..
Anyway, the next time I (sort of) saw Slade was when they made a personal appearance at a local cinema to promote their film “Slade in Flame”. “Slade in Flame” tells the story of “Flame” a fictitious late 1960s beat group who make it to the top, only to break up at their peak of success. The film begins with the future members of Flame playing in two rival bands, one fronted by a singer named Jack Daniels 🙂 (played by Alan Lake), and the other, The Undertakers, fronted by a singer known as Stoker (played by Noddy Holder). Flame formed from remnants of the two bands, and have the same line-up as Slade do in real life. The rest of the film tells the story of Flame’s rise to fame, disillusionment and eventual and inevitable break-up. It is quite entertaining and pretty funny in places, with some great songs.sladeprog One moment which sticks in my mind is when Stoker is brought on stage in a coffin (the band is called The Undertakers after all; the idea was nicked straight from Screaming Lord Sutch, who, of course also nicked it from Screaming Jay Hawkins). Anyway, the lid of the coffin gets stuck and Stoker can’t get out (now I never saw that happen to Screaming Lord Sutch 🙂 ). The album of the same name, “Flame”, was released at the same time and features the two classic hit singles “How Does It Feel” and “Far Far Away”.
I went with a group of mates to see Slade introduce the film. We were cutting it fine time-wise and as we arrived at the cinema, we saw a big silver Rolls Royce pull up outside. Noddy, Dave, Jim and Don jumped out of the Rolls, ran straight past us, and made their way into the cinema. We quickly paid our money to the cashier (probably £1 or so) and followed them in, just in time to hear them say a few words to introduce the film, and then run out just as quickly as they came in. I think they told us that they were off to another cinema in the region to do the same thing. Strangely, given the band were making a personal appearance, the cinema was nowhere near full. Or maybe their popularity was already starting to wane.
I still enjoy watching “Slade in Flame” and “How Does It Feel” is a classic song.
I’ve added a picture of a Slade programme that I have from the period. I’m not sure at which gig I bought this one; it could even have been sold at the cinema.
I finally relented from my Slade abstinence and went to see them in concert a few months after seeing the film. I’ll write about that concert, in April 1975, tomorrow,

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by gaz on September 9, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    i vaguely remember that night also, i went to see the film and before it started out popped noddy and the boys, i was 13 or 14 at the time.. I’m also after some details regarding seeing mud in concert at the sunderland empire around the same year ?


    • Posted by vintagerock on September 9, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Thanks Gaz I saw Mud at the Mecca, and can vaguely remember them playing the Empire, although I wasn’t there Cheers Peter


  2. Posted by John on August 27, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Think it was night after that I went regretting not being there previous night


  3. Posted by Tim Johnson on October 15, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I went to see Slade at the City Hall on May 9th 1974 (my second ever gig after T.Rex a few months before. It was a wild night, with people jumping from the balcony onto the stage to embrace the band. Also later on I remember the fire doors getting opened and a large number of football fans crashing in without tickets. As a 14 year old, I though it was brilliant!


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