By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
When Slade legend Noddy Holder rolls into town for a unique evening of talk and music with BBC presenter Mark Radcliffe in a few weeks’ time I will be thinking of my late friend John Haxby.
The terrific, Knaresborough-based gig promoter and album sleeve designer was a massive Slade fan and spent a reasonable part of his final years plotting how to get the group to reform.
As well as personally masterminding the Genesis of Slade album after tracking down band rarities from their early years in 1964-66, he also interviewed Noddy himself in 2007 for Rock n Reel magazine.
I’m not sure if Noddy talked to John about reforming this mighty rock-pop band of the 70s and 80s but he spoke surprisingly freely when I raised the subject while interviewing him in the build-up to the show at Harrogate Theatre on Sunday, May 19.
“I have broached it with the lads. I had a meeting with the band but I didn’t think we could do it as a one-off show,” he told me.
Actually, he told me more than that but I think it’s only fair that fans themselves ask him for the full answer in person at the Harrogate Theatre show.
For a band with such a glam image, Noddy also still clearly cares passionately about the music and how the band created their famous sound.
“Our manager Chas Chandler wanted to build the songs round my voice; it’s always the first thing in the mix. We would then mesh Dave’s guitar with Jim’s bass and Don’s drums to create a live sound. Dave loved his riffs but he didn’t like to jam. He wasn’t much for solos.”
The format of this intimate evening with the 66-year-old vocal powerhouse will be as follows, says Noddy.
“It’s going to be like me and Mark talking in the pub about all my rock n roll memories, which I what we end up doing whenever we meet. In the second half we’ll throw it open to questions from the crowd. There might be bits of singing, too.”
Whatever happens at Harrogate Theatre on the last night of a tour which is unlikely to be repeated, it’s going to be a night that John Haxby for one would have thought was special.
Fans of the DIY music scene in particular, and indie music in general have another great festival to look forward to.
Bradford Threadfest is the work of a collective of the city’s music venues, musicians and fans with support from the University of Bradford and Bradford City Council. Among the acts appearing on the second May bank holiday weekend will be Hawk Eyes, We’re Shopping, Monster Killed By Laser, The Hobbes Fanclub and many more.
More information at www.bradfordthreadfest.com
It’s going to be a hot time for blues aficiandos at Ripley over the next month or so.
Promoters RipleyBlues are keeping up their long-held reputation for high quality acts with the following line-up:
Saturday, May 18: Hokie Joint plus Dave Acari. Saturday, June 1: Lucy Zirins plus John Crampton. Saturday, June 15: King King.
Lastly, the ever-popular Jason Feddy plays Christies in Harrogate on Friday, May 10.