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Slade pleaze their fans as Roy Wood kicks off Christmas

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

[gallery] Legendary Wolverhampton and Walsall band Slade brought the house down as they performed alongside glam rockers Sweet, writes Will Ackermann.

The rockers took to the stage at Birmingham's Town Hall last night, while just a stone's thrown away Roy Wood was on stage at Symphony Hall.

Slade became one of Europe's biggest bands in the 70s, producing a catalogue of hits that provided a soundtrack to the glam generation.

And their live performances saw crowds taken back in time with hits such as Cum On Feel The Noize, Mama Weer All Crazee Now, Skweeze Me, and Pleeze Me.

This year alone Merry Christmas Everybody, arguably Slade's most famous and definitely their best selling single, is estimated to have helped the Black Country band rake in £500,000. And visitors to last nights gig, led by original member Dave Hill, could expect to enjoy the festive classic.

Meanwhile, it has been 40 years since I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day was released and all these years later it remains one of the true anthems of the season.

And make no mistake, 67-year-old rocker Roy Wood has still got it – red ponytail and all.

Last night he had the whole of Birmingham's Symphony Hall eating out of the palm of his hand as he slammed power chords on the electric guitar (and even blasted out a tune on the bagpipes).

But what really made the night so enjoyable, on top of the classic hits made famous by his 1970s band Wizzard, was its variety feel.

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Not only did the Midlands-born musician's Rock and Roll Band add a touch of brass, but the warm-up act, Quill, injected a stunning and unique folk-rock ingredient to the mix.

Add to that a set from Birmingham's favourite comedian Jasper Carrott, accompaniments from a string section, and a children's choir, and you've got the makings of a fantastic night.

Oh, and did I mention The Proclaimers were there to join Roy on stage half way through his performance?

That was when the audience (quite sedate up until this point) really got into the swing of things, everyone up on their feet, some dancing in the aisles.

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After all, who could resist standing up, stomping their feet and singing along to I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)?

"Da, da, da." "Da, da, da!"

See? It's impossible.

After three or four of their songs (when Roy had presumably had enough of playing second fiddle on rhythm guitar), they left the stage – but returned for the bit we'd all been waiting for.

They were also joined by the aforementioned choir and string section for a super-energetic rendition of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, which deservedly brought the house down.

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