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Slade in Flame

Recommended by

Paul McCabe

IN 1974 Slade with their fantastic glitter-stomp pop anthems were riding high as one of the biggest bands in the country so it was agreed that it was a perfect time to cash in and make a film. What they chose to do was completely unexpected – they made a gritty, downbeat drama showing the seedier side of pop stardom.

The film tells the story of Flame, a band plucked from playing working men’s clubs and groomed for chart success by a smarmy businessman who sees an opportunity to make a lot of money (Tom Conti in his first ever film role).

Their initial excitement soon fades and the band become disillusioned due to the usual rock n’ roll pitfalls of management troubles, in-fighting and pesky, interfering girlfriends.

The members of Slade equip themselves surprisingly well as actors, Noddy Holder as reluctant lead singer Stoker being the pick of the bunch. This excellent film stands up well as both a document of the music industry’s less appealing side and as a snapshot of late 60s working class Britain.

And of course, the music is superb.

 

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