In 1972 Slade made their way to Manchester to film a TV show for an audience of ambivalent teenagers: The result was brilliant

Slade on the set of Set Of 6 in 1972
(Image credit: Granada TV)

Manchester's Granada TV launched a new music show, Set Of 6, on May 23, 1972. In an early example of literally-minded programme naming, each broadcast featured a band playing a set of six songs, but in its short run – naturally, it ran for just half a dozen episodes – the show featured some of the UK's best contemporary talent.

Badfinger were the first band to appear on the show, with other performances coming from Argent, Middle Of The Road, ELO and Pentangle, but best of the bunch were Slade, who brightened Britain's screens on June 13 with a set that's as brilliant as it is brief: six songs in 24 minutes.

Perhaps strangely, for a band who'd already had one number one (the previous year's Coz I Love You) and were about to embarking on a run of self-written releases that would cement their place as one of the greatest singles bands of the 1970s, four of the songs in the set are covers. 

Opener Hear Me Calling had originally been recorded by Ten Years After, Darlin' Be Home Soon by The Lovin' Spoonful. They closed their set with Get Down With It, written in 1964 by R&B songwriter Bobby Marchan and later covered by Little Richard, before climaxing with a lively romp through Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild

Best of all are the two originals: Look Wot You Dun had been a Top 10 hit early in the year, and – of course – Coz I Luv You

What stands out, more than 50 years down the line, is what an miraculously good live band Slade were, even in the sterile environment of a TV studio, faced with an audience of largely ambivalent teenagers. They're an absolute riot, from the overdriven boogie of Hear Me Calling – which climaxes with a section so heavy it could be Black Sabbath – to frontman Noddy Holder's livewire delivery, whether it's introducing Darlin' Be Home Soon as "gentle and sexy" or singing so hard during Get Down With It that his microphone appears to be in danger of combusting. And that guitar sound is massive

It's brilliant.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.