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Slade's legendary front man Noddy Holder speaks to the Star
His contemporaries were Marc Bolan and David Bowie and his voice is one of the most recognisable in rock music.
Now Noddy Holder is to chart his rise to superstardom from his days playing workingmen’s clubs to the pinnacle of pop fame in the intimate setting of the Citadel.
The Godfather of Glam will be joined by DJ and musician Mark Radcliffe, who specifically recommended the Water Street venue, after appearing there with his band the Family Mahone.
Speaking to the Star, Noddy said: “I have been to St Helens before, but never the Citadel. Mark said it was a great atmosphere. This whole thing was Mark’s idea.
“I did his show on Radio 2 for eight years and I was always telling him stories. When we went to the pub for a pint he said I should take my tales on the road. I never did anything about it, but this year is my 50th anniversary professionally in showbiz and 60 years since I first went on stage in workingmen’s clubs.
“We want to make it as intimate as possible and hopefully the Citadel will provide that. It’s not going to be the same show every night. For the first half Mark will ask me about my life and career, showing bits and bobs on the screen. The second half will be open to the audience, answering any questions they like.
“It will be a mixed audience, with all different age groups and the feedback we have had so far has been positive.”
Noddy said the only thing he worries about is that the ‘technical things’ work properly.
“It won’t be an extravagant show,” he stressed. “It’s just me and my personality. We won’t be concentrating just on Slade. It will be some jokes, plus memories.”
Noddy said: “There is a gap in the market for a band like Slade; dressing up, messing about and making good music; good happy records. I do see our influence in rock bands. I have young musicians coming up to me telling me that. Although Merry Christmas Everybody overshadows our catalogue, we released more than 20 albums, with an original band line-up that was together more than 20 years, having hit records.
“When people hear your records, they will look at the back catalogue. Even bands like Oasis who covered Cum on Feel the Noize and their audience will listen to their back catalogue.
“Overall I believe Slade have stood the test of time. Merry Christmas Everybody is 40-years-old and goes on stronger and stronger. New generations now sing it.”
The early 70s saw stars such as Marc Bolan and Sweet become global names and Noddy knew them all.
“Although we weren’t based in London and weren’t part of that scene, we pretty much got on with everyone. Our dressing room was where the booze was stashed,” he joked.
“We knew Sweet, Bolan and Mud. Les Gray was a pal of mine. We also were close with Suzi Quatro, Thin Lizzy and Status Quo.
“Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy lead singer), was a bit of a character. They came fresh from Ireland and along with Suzi Quatro were our opening acts.
“I think Phil learned his tricks of the trade watching Slade. When he first saw the show, he didn’t really grasp the power they could have on the audience. Then he saw what a potent thing it was.”
Asked how he thinks Slade will be remembered, he said: “As giving people a lot of fun and putting a smile on their faces.”
- An Evening with Noddy Holder in Conversation with Mark Radcliffe will be held at the Citadel on Thursday, April 25. Tickets cost £15. For further information call 01744 735436.