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Slade and Sweet at Birmingham Town Hall - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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Glam Rock legends tour together
The original members may now be getting on a bit but an evening with Slade and Sweet is the perfect way to stoke up the Christmas party atmosphere. With both bands having their first UK hits in 1971 they each have more than 40 years of experience and back catalogue to draw on.

Merry Christmas Everybody!: Slade - Mal McNulty, Don Powell, Dave Hill, John Berry.

Slade took to the stage to the theme of Thunderbirds and exited to Mission: Impossible, although in their case it was Mission: Accomplished.

Boasting original members drummer Don Powell and guitarist Dave Hill, both aged 67, the band powered through most of their big hits including their first number one, Coz I Luv You, and a rabble-rousing Mama Weer All Crazee Now.

Bowler-hatted and shades-wearing Mal McNulty took the Noddy Holder frontman role and while he has Nod's distinctive gravel vocals he cannot compete in the charisma stakes. Bass and fiddle player John Berry took over lead vocals for Everyday and Look Wot You Dun but as the 65 minute set progressed Dave Hill moved more into the spotlight. Considering he suffered a stroke in 2010 the guy is amazing, running round the stage, standing on monitors, encouraging the audience to stand up and join in, and turning in some great guitar solos.

Despite teasing that they wouldn't play Merry Xmas Everybody it gained a rousing reception when it closed the show.

The Sweet
Hellraisers: The Sweet - Bruce Bisland, Pete Lincoln, Andy Scott, Tony O'Hora,

Fellow seventies Glam legends Sweet had earlier got everybody in the feelgood mood with an hour of hits. The make-up has long gone and the songs have been hardened and rocked-up thanks to the guitar of the one original member, 64-year-old Andy Scott. He was ably supported by guitarist and keyboardist Tony O'Hora who hails from Droitwich, bassist and lead singer Pete Lincoln and powerhouse drummer Bruce Bisland.

Fan favourites like Hellraiser, Blockbuster and Teenage Rampage were present and correct, although the bubblegum pop of Wig-Wam Bam and Little Willy were dispensed with early on. That left time for an extended version of Love Is Like Oxygen, including Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Fanfare For The Common Man, dedicated to the much missed Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker.

The triple whammy of Fox On The Run, Action and Ballroom Blitz closed the set and issued the challenge to Slade - 'Follow that'!

Slade setlist:
Gudbuy T'Jane
Lock Up Your Daughters
Far Far Away
Look Wot You Dun
Coz I Luv You
Run Runaway
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Get Down and Get With It
My Oh My
Cum On Feel The Noize
Merry Xmas Everybody

Sweet setlist:
New York Groove
The Six Teens
Wig-Wam Bam
Little Willy
Teenage Rampage
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
Love Is Like Oxygen
Fanfare For The Common Man
Fox On The Run
Ballroom Blitz

Slade & Sweet

Slade & Sweet UK tour dates:
Dec 17: Guildford, G-Live;
Dec 19: Eastbourne, Congress Theatre;
Dec 20: Poole, The Lighthouse;
Dec 21: Salisbury, City Hall.
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Why? Legends of the '70s tour together
When: Until December 21
Where: Birmingham, Guildford, Eastbourne, Poole, Salisbury
Cost: 21.50 - 29 plus fees
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