Let there be drums! interview with Slade legend Don Powell by Darren Johnson

Darren Johnson…. I catch up with founding member of Slade and drumming legend, Don Powell. Don’s band have just released a brand new single, a cover of the instrumental classic ‘Let There Be Drums’ featuring eighteen of the UK’s leading drummers with all profits going to… https://donpowellband.company.site  raising money for crew, engineers and technicians hit by the pandemic and the cancellation of live gigs. Via Zoom in Don’s home in Denmark we talk about the new single, about the old Slade days, about working with Suzi Quatro and Andy Scott, about recovering from a stroke and much, much more besides.

interview continues here… https://darrensmusicblog.com

Kevin Sherwood… Great interview.

Slade – White Rock Theatre Hastings 5th December 2019

⭐️ Now on sale! ⭐️ Slade return to Hastings this December as part of their ‘Rockin’ Home For Christmas Tour’. With their unique blend of perfect poprock’n’roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun, and no less than 23 Top-20 singles (of which 6 were No-1 smash hits), plus 6 smash albums, Slade have become a firm favourite in the hearts of pop fans all over the world.

Look to the future now, it’s only just begun! Book your tickets here: bit.ly/2YKZnwt


Did Slade ever play Hastings Pier?

John Austin… Did Slade ever perform on the pier ?

Alan Esdaile… I’m pretty sure its a no John.

Peter Fairless… No, they didn’t, Alan

Malt Jones… Thats why it burnt down right?

Peter Fairless… Ha ha, nah, but ‘Flame’ is a great film!

Alan Esdaile… Interesting comment from Colin Bell on this. Apparently Slade were booked for the pier but was cancelled for some unknown reason. However this was the time when the Albert Memorial was burnt down and at some stage they thought this might have been burnt down by upset fans.

Peter Fairless… Might have been after Don’s accident?

Peter Thomson… I was in the town centre the night the memorial was alleged to have burnt down, indeed in the early hours when the fire supposedly started. There was no sign of anything happening as I recall and remarked later that the structure never showed any sign of burning. It never did ‘burn down’. I also believe the night/morning concerned was immediately after the ELO gig on the pier, which was superb. I was a Slade fan at the time and would have loved to see them on the pier also.

Chris Sambrook… No fires reported when Robin Trower or Thin Lizzy didn’t turn up to play on the Pier. Apparently Trower’s first album charted in America and he was whisked off to promote it, a good move for him he became very successful in the States . After that the nearest he played was Brighton Dome and Reading Festival which ain’t near Hastings Pier.

Memories of my first ever live gig – Slade at Donington August 81 by Darren Johnson


supplied by Darren Johnson

When I went to Monsters of Rock at Donington, aged 15, in 1981 it was not only my first ever festival but also my first ever live rock gig of any type. It still remains my favourite gig of all time, in particular the set by Slade that afternoon.

We arrived at Donington a little late and by the time we had parked and got into the arena the band More were most of the way through their set. The next band on were Blackfoot who I have no real recollection of at all. What I do remember is the anticipation of waiting for Slade to come on. After several years in the doldrums Slade had burst back into the charts a few months earlier with ‘We’ll Bring The House Down’. Their storming performance at Reading Festival the previous year (when the band replaced Ozzy Osbourne at the last minute) had already become legendary and this all meant that in the space of a few months Slade went from being a band that sang about Christmas that I vaguely recalled from my childhood to being my number one favourite band in the whole world. And that was even before I witnessed what would become (and still remains) the most remarkable live performance I’ve ever seen. Loud guitar-driven rock, commanding showmanship, unforgettable songs and sheer over- the-top-eccentricity, it was an absolute master-class in compelling live performance.

story continues here… https://darrensmusicblog.com/2017/03/13/memories-of-my-first-ever-live-gig-slade-at-donington-22881/

Slade at White Rock Theatre Hastings 14th November 2015 review by Darren Johnson

dave-hill-hastings-2 photo credit: Dave Kemp

Tonight was my twenty-third Slade concert. After seeing them three times as a teenager in the early 80s the band abruptly stopped touring. But since guitarist Dave Hill and drummer Don Powell revived the band in the early 90s, sans Noddy Holder and Jim Lea, I’ve seen them most years since. Yes, I miss Holder’s unmistakeable voice. Yes, I miss Lea’s musical dexterity. And yes, I miss the combined songwriting talent of the two of them which produced all of the big hits but isn’t producing any new ones. But going to a modern-day Slade gig means I don’t miss out on hearing those wonderful songs being performed live still. And it means I don’t get to miss out on the sheer, unadulterated, wacky, crazily eccentric sense of fun you get from a Slade gig.

The set-list has hardly changed much in the last twenty years but it’s great to be punching our hands in the air to Gudbuy T’ Jane, throwing toilet rolls across the stage during Mama Weer All Crazee Now, applauding Dave Hill showing off his“superyob” guitar during Get Down and Get With It, swaying along to Everyday and My Oh My and jumping up and down with wild deranged abandon to Cum On Feel The Noize.

In the nicest, friendliest, most good-natured way the whole place was pretty much going crazee. Everyone, that is, apart from two gents on the front row who complained bitterly throughout the concert about people dancing about, jumping up and down and waving their arms in the air. I don’t think they quite got the whole Slade concert business. Never mind, they were gone before the band came back on for Merry Xmas Everybody. A month too early? No way! I don’t put together Slade’s winter tour schedules but mid-November is surely near enough to Christmas for the crowd to be singing along to the greatest Christmas song ever made.

For fifty years Dave and Don have been playing together now. Let’s toast them.

Gudbuy T’ Jane
Lock Up Your Daughters
Take Me Bak ‘Ome
Look Wot You Dun
Coz I Luv You
Run Run Away
Far Far Away
My Baby Left Me
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Get Down and Get With It
My Oh My
Cum On Feel The Noize
Merry Xmas Everybody

by Darren Johnson      https://darrensmusicblog.com

Slade poisonous feud behind Christmas hit by The Daily Mail.


photo source: Beeld En Geluid Wiki – Gallerie: Toppop 1973.


Martin Richter… saw this yesterday – sad

Jane Hartley… It is very sad, but the ‘new’ Slade are still great!

David Rowley… Yet another newspaper story not understanding the difference between songwriting/copyright royalties and artist recording royalities. Lea and Holder make a bucket off the public performance of the song because they wrote it. Hill and Powell are also making money but from sales of the record – oh, that’s right, there are no sales of records anymore.

Dave Nattress… I read this and anyway was aware of the so-called feud and like so many stories of similar fallings-out between old band-mates I find it really a shame after all have been through so much together – often far more downs than ups and naively I think I’d love the guys to get together, maybe sort the differences out and play together again. They were so good as a band and I have no doubt the reason I think the situation of their feud is such a pity is because of all Christmas records we’re subjected to, I think theirs is the best by a million miles. Every time I hear it I love it, a wonderful pop song, wonderful guitar chords, a piece of art. Every time I hear almost all the other Christmas songs, year after year after year, I’ve had enough of them. Slade’s is always fresh. I know…it’s said to be about money – royalties and maybe I’d view it differently If I was one of the 2 said not to be getting much out of the song. As you’re all in it together why not equal shares – I know – it rarely works this way in any business. I say this all from a position of relative poverty. (Well actually some of the relatives have got a bit). Right I’m waffling – way off the subject – time to go.

Colin Bell… When Slade played the White Rock a few weeks back (where incidentally they were great and brought the house down)I spent the afternoon with Dave Hill at the hotel and accompanied him to the gig along with Don. We spent several hours chatting and I can assure you they are not bitter! The Daily Mail has always been a shit newspaper/organ for the Tories, anyway not getting into a polictical rant. Dave and Don still love what they do and it should be noted they were the guys that founded the band, Noddy joined later. So as my dad used to say the only truth that newspapers write is the date (and you should check that!). Hope all Smarties have had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Slade plus The Rockitmen – White Rock Theatre – Sat 14th Nov 2015.

slade_lead 12219467_10206453074337994_5901459498786778399_n

Poster supplied by Tim Phillips

Chart topping ‘70s glam rockers touring with original members Dave Hill and Don Powell. Although perhaps best known for a certain Christmas song, with anthems like ‘Coz I Luv U’, ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’, ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’, ‘Look Wot U Dun’ their incredible back catalogue truly demonstrates that Slade are for life, not just for Christmas!


Peter Fairless… I saw a poster this very afternoon. Looked like Dave and Don. Noddy and Jim, were, of course, the songwriters…

Jim Breeds… Without Noddy and Jim, this is just a tribute band really. I’m sure they still make a good noize for the fans though 🙂

Chris Giles… Surely wont sound the same without Noddy

David Miller… I  read that Noddy was invited to sing for ACDC when Bon Scott passed….that’s quite a sonic and visual picture to play with….

Peter Fairless… I didn’t know that, David. Of course, they signed Brian Johnson of Geordie – the band that made the best Slade record Slade never made!

Tony Davis… It would be great if Noddy would record again – such a great voice. I can’t really see the point of Slade without Noddy’s voice!