Friday, March 17, 2023

Slade - Live at the Randwick Racecourse , Sydney, Australia - 1973-01-28 (1973) - Bootleg

 (UK 1966 - Present)

(Review by Waz from Oz)At the time of this show I was a few weeks away from turning 17, so I was allowed to attend without supervision. I went with long-time schoolfriend Ruby, making me the older one this time around.

I have fond memories of this show as this is where we met Recy (Maree) & Roger, two fellow music lovers a year or so younger than us. The four of us attended many of the same concerts over the years, remaining friends off & on up to the present day.

Also, at this show but unknown to me at the time was Big Knob. Over the years I’d spot him at many concerts, we were finally introduced in the early 1980 & we got to talking. I’d mentioned I’d taped a number of shows he’d been at, running off some names, among those names happened to be his most loved band, of which I am also a fan. He mentioned he had taped a few shows himself in the 1970’s.

I asked who, he replied all four overseas acts at Randwick 28th January 1973, which were still on the original reel to reel tapes, he hadn’t played them in years. Not long after I transferred his master reels onto cassettes for both of us, this was before CD-R’s were on the market.

Last week I caught up with Big Knob, he refreshed me about how he recorded that concert which as of this writing is now 47 years ago. He’d lugged an Akai portable stereo reel-to-reel recorder to the show, he & his party where seated further back up in the stands. Once an act was about to kick off he would hold one mic, his wife the other. While each group was performing he’d hand his mic over to his mate and make his way down to the front section to take some photos of the bands. These photos appear on the CD artwork included here.

Estimates for the audience at this show range from 20,000 to 26,000, I’d say it was somewhere in the middle. Some brave souls even managed to get themselves up onto the roof of the stands.

The line-up for this show was supposed to be some Australian bands first, followed by English acts Caravan, Lindisfarne, Status Quo & Slade. All but Caravan were familiar to me as I’d brought singles & LPs by the others especially Slade. Slade being the most well-known of the bunch having by this time various Top 40 hit singles in Australia plus the extremely popular Slade Alive LP.

The night before the show it had pissed down, continuing overnight & only stopping a short time before the show, making the grounds something akin to a paddy field. Remember this was a racecourse so in front of the covered stands it was grass plus the actual dirt racetrack. I remember my platform shoes often sinking into the mud as well as the bottoms of my fetching flared jeans becoming mud catchers. I don’t recall that it rained again after the first act of the day was underway.

As the rain had soaked the stage plus everything on & around it, it had to be cleaned up & dried off before any act could go ahead. So the starting time of 1.PM was pushed back to 2.30 PM.

Because of this delay the Australian bands didn’t get to play. They were supposed to be Buffalo, Sherbet, Mother Earth and Robin Sinclair.

Newspaper reports state that no Australian acts played at this show due to the delay, however online I’ve read comments from people that attended this show that Aussie band Blackfeather (who had a No 1 hit 1972) did play but I don’t remember them doing so. Their name does not appear in any ads or review of the show.

After the clean-up finished, it was time for the first international act, Caravan unknown to us & probably the vast majority of the 20,000 spectators.

Sorry Caravan fans but to this 16 year old, Ruby, Recy, Roger and I’m sure countless thousands there that day their brand of music didn’t generate much interest. Lindisfarne, the 2nd act of the day ignited the audience from the start of their short set to the finish. The audience demanded an encore, but time restrictions put an end to that, but their performance set the tone for the rest of the day.

The 3rd act of the day were the headliners Slade, whom because of the fear of more inclement weather had swapped places with Status Quo. So that band closed the day’s activities. Slade were whom the bulk of the audience had dead set come to Randwick to see. Slade were extremely popular down under.

The Slade LP had been in the charts for 6 months, it was actually No. 1 when they arrived on these shores and stayed in the No. 1 position for three weeks.

From the end of February 1972 up to January 1973, they had 4 singles in the Australian Top 40, the highest reaching No 11. I would have bet money that they’d scored No 1’s to top 10 chart success, but no they hadn’t. T. Rex funny enough had higher chart success than Slade. But the latter had plenty of airplay all the same.

Slade - Backstage View

It should be noted that the band's singer / guitarist Noddy Holder can be heard making many vulgar comments. His comments were greeted warmly by the crowd who lapped them up. Noddy’s comments didn’t bother me at the time nor do they now, they were part & parcel of Slade’s live performances, like it or lump it I say!.

The band walked on, Noddy acknowledged the audience for having earlier sat out in the rain, then straight into "Hear Me Calling", the audience participation started from the get-go.

Ruby and myself were halfway between the stage & the grandstand, we were dead set packed tighter than a fish’s arsehole. It was even a task at times to raise one’s arms about one’s head to perform beat clapping

Slade were one of the loudest bands I’d ever heard in concert, Noddy’s voice was especially powerful it went right through you. This recording is just under being distorted because the band were so loud.

Noddy’s rude comments commenced after the first song finishes “If there’s any young ladies in the audience what’s feeling a bit warm by now, we wanna see them dropping their knickers (for Americans that’s panties) & we wanna see all the fellers having a quick feel” which is greeted by audience cheers.

He’s at it again after "Move Over" suggesting because it’s become even warmer that females should take their clothes off so see we can see a few tits. Then he asks the males in the audience to put their hands up if they want to see some tits. Countless hands went up accompanied by another roar of approval.

In "Darling Be Home Soon", he tries to get the audience to sing some football team songs, a popular exercise back in the UK but not so much here. He asks, gets a pretty lukewarm response, telling us he can hear fuck all, so it’s quickly dropped. Aussie audiences are somewhat shy when it comes to group singing at gigs, not so much beat clapping. Noddy had more luck getting the audience singing along in the last few numbers.

Another thing I remember was during Jim Leas violin solo right up on the roof of the grandstand a guy in a kilt (he must have been a true Scotsman because one 'n' all could see his meat & two veg) performed a jig for everyone’s entertainment. He was a brave soul as not only was he doing this on a roof, it must still have been wet from the earlier rain, it’s a wonder he didn’t highland fling himself right off. The same goes for Dave Hill who in his platform boots would get up on his stage monitors & buggerize around.

A few songs in we noticed a disturbance in the crowd nearer the stage in front of us. I knew it was a blue (Aussie slang for a fight, blue is also the Aussie slang for a person with red, ginger hair). I didn’t know it at the time, but it turned that we knew two of those involved in that blue.

After Slade & between Status Quo we wandered around, we came across two young person’s somewhat distressed & we spoke to them to see if they were ok. This was our first meeting with Recy & Roger who both became long-time friends of mine. They told us what had happened.

Once Slade were underway their Sydney skinhead fans started wading thru the crowd, pushing & shoving all in their way to get to the front of the stage. Unfortunately, Recy & Roger were two of the people in their way, Roger was first elbowed out the way, when he turned around to see what was going on he was punched a number of times. He’s a mild person & wouldn’t be able to defend himself against one person let alone a few of them. His assailants were probably pissed off even further because at the time he sported long curly hair plus was wearing an Hawaiian shirt.

Recy being of Greek-Cypriot heritage could get dead set fiery at times & she jumped on the back of one of Rogers attackers. While she was flailing away on the back of the skinhead it distracted attention away from Roger, who had managed to drop to the ground, crawling away to safety through the legs of audience members, a feat in itself seeing how packed it was. He watched the rest of the show from the side.

Some of the skinheads not only made it to the front of the stage but were invited up to dance with Slade. They can be seen dancing onstage in one of the you tube links at the bottom of this post.

Listening to this recording with fresh ears it struck me at just how many excellent singles Slade released in the period ranging from 1971 to 1973.

In the early CD-R period I traded copies of this show, which has been on DIME in the past but equ’ed from the CD-R. As this is from the master tape it will be superior to all previous versions.

Ruby & myself also attended the Slade / Caravan show at the Hordern Pavilion on the 6th February 1973.

On Slade’s 1974 Australian tour we fronted up at the two Sydney shows also held at the Hordern on the 21st & 24th February 1974. I didn’t tape any of these shows, the reason being we usually ended up in the front sections at the Hordern. With Slade audiences being rather overtly enthusiastic it would have been a chore to record a show amongst a non-stop moving audience plus we wanted to enjoy ourselves.

Please remember sensitive souls who abhor beat clapping that this practice can be heard quite regularly in this recording! Thanks to Big Knob for the recordings & photos, thanks as always to audiowhore.

Enjoy - Waz

Gold Record Presentation Sydney (taken from YouTube Clip)

This post consists of FLACs ripped from master audio tape (thanks to Big Knob) and includes various Artwork sets. This is a great recording folks and it was captured Down Under. Also included below are some rare YouTube clips featuring concert promotional footage taken from GTK / ABC camera crews.

Track Listing:
01. Noddy Holder's Introduction
02. Hear Me Calling
03. Look Wot You Dun
04. Move Over
05. Gudbuy T’ Jane
06. Darling Be Home Soon
07. Keep On Rockin’
08. Jimmy Lea Lady Be Good Violin Solo
09. Coz I Luv You
10. Take Me Back ‘Ome
11. Get Down & Get With It
12. Mama Weer All Crazee Now

Slade were:
Noddy Holder - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & Rude Comments!
Dave Hill - Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jimmy Lea - Bass Guitar, Violin & Backing Vocals
Don Powell – Drums

Live Randwick footage 1973
"Get Down & Get With It"

Interview with skinheads & audience members,
Slade’s Sydney Press Conference & Gold Records Presentation

Live Randwick footage with dubbed sound
Interview with skinheads dancing on stage


  1. Excellent stuff. I don't s'pose that the Status Quo gig is available? Thanks, Ant

    1. Hi Ant. Unfortunately I don't have Status Quo's Randwick performance. Maybe another blog follower might have it and will be willing to share it here??

  2. Thanks Aussie for the Slade share. I still drag out the Slade live album as I believe it is one of the best live albums made. Great work

  3. Thanks for all of this , I was at the concert in 1973 , great show , brings back memories