Live Review: Slide, Camden Palace, 30th January, 1990

Slide It In

Camden Palace on a Tuesday night isn't exactly the best place for a young, aspiring, straight-down-the-line rock band like Slide. Thirty five minutes to make an impression with a crowd more intent on wigging out to the latest indie-rock and goth sounds.

Slide made their entrance looking like the clean cut younger brothers of the Clash and opened up with Leave Your Love with its strong, catchy chorus. The sound is crisp n' clear in contrast to the usual swirling dirge I normally associate with this place. Straight on to No Wrong Way a very classy song with singer, Grant Richardson's strong bluesy vocals impressing.

The Hardest Part, one of the outstanding songs from their debut album, DOWN SO LONG, is an uplifting anthem with a hint of romance. Slide are pretty tight, tight as a torniquete. They sound more impressive live than on record.

You've probably heard the Bad Company comparisons by now. Sure, there's something in that. In fact, the band don't seem to resent the comparison. However, these Glaswegians are not uninspired clones but instead a band with a strong identity of their own.

The new single Down So Long, emphasises how well Slide's songs work live. Driven along by a solid and powerful rhythm section, blistering fretwork, and that voice. It even manages to get the static crowd twitching, if not quite moving!

Next is the ultra catchy, Why Is It A Crime the band's first single. "Let's see some dancing," bellows Grant and the crowd twitch awkwardly.

The high point of the evening comes with Listen, a flurry of cascading drums and a blend of ringing, U2-ish guitar, and some neat acoustic strumming. The crowd twitch franticly!

If Slide have a problem, it's that, opposed to being rough at the edges, they're a touch too smooth at the sides. Maybe they should loosen up a bit, take a few more chances.

However, there's a great deal of potential here and the bottom line here is that Slide know how to pen a good song, which is what it's all about. As a live entity, they're not quite up there with friends and fellow Glaswegians Gun, but I suspect that in the long run they could well outstrip them.

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
April, 1990

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