Vive Le Rock's Paul Gilman checks out the world's number one SLADE tribute band!
When we heard that esteemed Slade tribute band Slady were playing at the Con Club in Lewes, to quote a song by our glam rock heroes, we were, "In like a shot...".
Initially starting out as a 70s bootboy band Slade captured the time with their punchy tunes and singalong lyrics.
Formed in 2018 in Southend, Slady are an all-girl tribute band, they look and sound the part and are all highly accomplished musicians.
Slady take the stage and it’s an immediate throwback to the 1970s. A quick glance around the audience and it’s clear that many of them were there the first time around but probably a bit more worried about toilet access than they used to be.
Band members Gobby Holder, Jem Lea, Donna Powell and Davina Hill look a little nervous to start with, it can’t be easy after such a long enforced break and the anticipation in the room is high.
The band launch into one of the lesser-known numbers, ‘Hear Me Calling’ and it’s soon clear that this is a band who know what they are about and are just warming up. The songs flow thick and fast and the best is yet to come.
‘Get Down And Gget With It, ‘ Born To Be Wild’ and ‘Take Me Back ‘Ome’ bring joy to the room, it's absolutely brilliant. Gobby Holder's voice is the nearest I've heard to The Nod's paintstripping vocals and the band capture the fun of the original. ‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’ has the audience singing along; Slade
themselves didn't like it so rarely played it.
A few numbers lesser-known to the non-diehards are well received and then it’s on to those monster hits, ‘Mama Weer All Crazy Now’ and a finale of, ‘Gudbye T' Jane’; I remember it first time around on my
Woolworths Top Of The Pops album but this tribute band nail it, unlike the ‘Woollies Wallies’.
There was some talk of it being too early for ‘that Christmas song’ or was it too late ?
Vive Le Rock caught up with the band after the show...
VLR: How was the pandemic for you ?
Gobby: I spent most of in the toilet, I livestreamed to our fans as, ‘Gob on the bog!’
Davina: Truly a difficult year, I went from gigging every week to nothing, it was so hard for everyone and as a young person and a musician it was a shock when the music industry just stopped.
VLR: Favourite Slade song?
Davina: ‘How Does It Feel'. Pure genius.
Jem: ‘Nobody’s Fool ‘.
VLR: Dave Hill from Slade got run over by a pushbike last time he was in Brighton and broke his arm. Any broken bone stories ?
Jem: I broke my wrist playing hockey at school.
Donna: No broken bones but I’ve recently torn my ACL twice in my right knee due to kickboxing, thankfully I’m recovering well.
VLR: Any plans to write some of your own songs ?
Gobby: All of us are songwriters so, yes.
VLR: If you could have been in any other band who would it have been and why ?
Gobby: X-Ray Spex. Poly was an inspiration making herself known in the male-dominated punk scene.
VLR: You updated some of the sexist lyrics of ‘Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me’. Are you a feminist band?
Donna: One hundred per cent. I’ve been in male-dominated fields all my life and experienced sexism first hand. Sexism has no place in the 21st Century and we need to keep fighting it.
VLR: What’s the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked in an interview ?
Jem: We were once asked if we meet up and have pillow fights!
This Southend-based band are destined for bigger things and are soon to headline the annual Slade convention in Wolverhampton.