Slade Carnage at Sunderland Empire 12th April 1978

sladeempiretix“Rock fans wreak havoc in Empire”
(From The Sunderland Echo, 13th April 1978)
“Seats and brass rails were smashed and twisted at the Sunderland Empire last night, as rock group Slade worked a young audience to fever pitch.
House manager, Mr Ron Jameson said today that the cost of the damage had not yet been counted, but it was expected to run to hundreds of pounds.
“The youngsters tend to stand on the arms and backs of the seats which smashes the framework, and the sheer weight of numbers pressing up against the brass rails bent them easily”
He added that although there was an audience of only 800 – less than half the theatre’s capacity – they had been very involved in the performance, and at times some became carried away with the highly charged atmosphere.”
You can find a copy of the original article from the Echo on the Sladescrapbook website:
http://www.sladescrapbook.com/cuttings-1978.html
The next time I saw Slade was at Sunderland Empire, a gig which ended with serious damage to the first few rows of the seats. Support came from local rockers Geordie. I was quite close to the front, with a group of mates, and we watched the first few rows of seats collapse under the weight of fans pushing, shoving and generally going crazy. By the end of the concert all that was left of the first five or so rows was a pile of smashed up wood. The same thing happened at a Boomtown Rats gig around the same time.
The set list at the Empire will have been something like this: Hear Me Calling; Get on Up; Be; Take Me Bak ‘Ome; My Baby Left Me; Burning in the Heat of Love; Everyday; Far Far Away; Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing; Gudbuy T’Jane; Give Us a Goal!; Get Down and Get With It; Mama Weer All Crazee Now; Cum on Feel the Noize; Keep on Rocking
My ticket for the gig looks a bit of a mess. I have written “Slade” on it (at the time the Empire tickets didn’t list the act who was playing) but the change of date was done by the Empire when we bought the tickets. It looks like they were reusing some tickets from another night!
Slade went further into the wilderness in 1979, playing cabaret and residencies at Baileys Nightspots up and down the country. The next time I saw them was another wild night, at Middlesbrough Rock Garden, which I’ll write about tomorrow.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by John on August 27, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I remember going to this one, never saw any of reported damage but ears ringing afterwards.
    Reported at time they were banned from the Empire after this

    Reply

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