Cum On Feel the Noize with Dave Hill
Slade’s Dave Hill doesn’t need any introduction. For over fifty years he has been entertaining crowds with iconic hits such as Cum On Feel The Noize, Mama Weer All Crazee Now and of course Merry Christmas Everybody.
Slade are back in Manchester later this year for an intimate gig at Manchester Academy on 17th December. Also Dave has decided to write his autobiography, “So Here It Is” will be out on 14th November. Canal Street’s Chris Park spoke to Dave about this as well as those crazy outfits which defined a generation.
Tell me about the tour?
We often do a short tour but we’re doing more this year, most of our work is in Europe throughout the year but when it starts getting to this time of year we look to England. Because of Christmas people get the feeling they want to have a good time. People know us all year around and I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved but it’s great to work in the UK. We always have to finish on that song. I never tire of playing it even after forty years. It brings joy to people. It was a difficult year when it came out, 1973 there were a lot of strikes and our song lifted people.
Your autobiography is out later this year, what prompted you to write it now?
It was prompted a long time ago but I was still living it. I’m 71 now and three years ago I met someone in London who could help me (write the book). Loads of times I’ll be telling a story and people would say “You want to write that down”. The book is about the past, in the late 50s it was all about rock n roll, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley, and I thought “I want to do that”. I got a guitar out of the Kays Catalogue and I’m left handed so I played it upside down, but I soon learnt to play it right handed. I found a purpose. I loved playing lead guitar.
Who’s idea was the crazy spelling of song titles?
I never knew how to spell properly anyway. If you look at it it’s the Midland dialect. It’s just dialect. Then we realised it was a brill idea. We wanted to do what people did at school. Now if you look at text messages it’s just like that. We upset the Education Committee though. It wasn’t a trick, honestly. We’re just a working class group who grew up on council estates. Noel Gallagher wrote a bit for my book and said “They were just like people who lived down the road”. I was born in a castle and I moved to the council estate.
Your dress sense pretty much defined the glam rock 70s, do you still have some of the outfits?
I kept a guitar. My John Birch Superyob guitar was bought by Marco Pirroni of Adam and the Ants. It’s on loan to the O2 Arena so I gave them a cape to go with it. Some outfits I designed myself. I had one that was referred to as the Metal Nun. I thought it was Egyptian. A very famous person, I won’t say who, said they’d just met a metal nun and the other lads said “He means you”.
The short fringe was just an idea but it became iconic for me. In the newspaper they were saying Beyonce had copied it.
The 70s were a lot about image. I loved it and I would spray my outfits myself at my Dad’s. I’d leave marks on the doors and he’d say “go and do it in your own room”, I was doing in the lounge.
I enjoyed getting a reaction. When I created a costume I never showed the band, I’d go into the Top of the Pops dressing room toilet and Chas (Chandler) our manager, Nodd and Jim would hear cans of spray going and I’d come out and Chas would say “Great Davy” and Nodd and Jim would look at me and I’d say “You write them and I’ll sell them”.
Tickets for Slades concert can be found below
By Chris Park for Canal St OnlineRead More