Brighton Rock; Slade at The Goldstone Ground

Brighton RockGlam rock band Slade, with their iconic leader Noddy Holder, dominated the airwaves for the first half of the 1970s. They wrote their name into British culture forever in ’73 with the smash-hit festive anthem, “Merry Xmas Everybody”. The band’s releases spent more than 300 weeks in the UK charts and sold more records than any other group in Britain that decade. Yet, despite these achievements, almost nobody remembers their one and only attempt at a football song back in 1978; “Give Us A Goal”. It’s a great shame as the song enjoys a special connection with Brighton and Hove Albion. Strangely enough, the Goldstone Ground provided the rockers with the location for their music video. On a freezing winter day in February, the band were present for the Albion’s match with Burnley where Slade made Brighton rock.

This post pieces together the story of the single through articles, cuttings and children’s television performances.


SLADE: “GIVE US A GOAL” (Barn Records, Released 1978)

slade-daddioSlade, as we know them now, began life under various different guises in the mid-1960s – The Vendors, The ‘N Betweens, Ambrose Slade – before agent John Gunnel and his business partner Chas Chandler paid a visit. As the 1970s approached, Chandler liked what he heard and agreed to manage the band. They adopted a skinhead look, wrote their own songs and shortened the name down to just ‘Slade’. They broke into the charts in August 1971 under Chandler’s direction and positioned themselves within the ‘glam rock’ movement, with the long hair and big costumes that went with it. Success followed as they began to take over the UK charts for the next few years, peaking with their best-selling juggernaut ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’; the 1973 Christmas number one.

But every rise comes with a fall, and the band’s popularity declined after that. A move to America came in the mid-70s, to little critical acclaim. By 1977, Slade aimed for a comeback in the UK so Chas Chandler switched them to his own label; Barn Records. The move didn’t bring much initial joy, with only a tribute song to the death of Elvis Presley breaking the top forty. They followed this up with an idea for a song to kick off 1978 based on football chants, aiming to capitalise on their old skinhead following, a look which was closely linked with supporters of the sport.

With their new football single written and ready to go, Slade needed to record a music video to flog to television programmes to use and promote the song for its release date (some publicatiosn report this as 3rd March 1978 though many others suggest it was actually 24th February). According to website Dave Kemp and Slade, Chas Chandler lived in the Sussex area at the time and had contacts with the Brighton and Hove Albion directors so arranged to use their Goldstone Ground home for the video shoot. Ahead of the visit of Burnley in the middle of February, Brighton’s North Stand were treated to some top-notch rock ‘n’ roll pre-match entertainment.

SLADE Cartoon promo

A cartoon promo advert in the music newspaper Record Mirror for the new Slade single as the band score past Jim Lea


FILMING THE VIDEO

Brighton 2-1 Burnley; Saturday 11th February 1978

SLADE Crowd SLADE Albion

Brighton competed in the Second Division of English football having gone up from the Third tier the previous year. Managed by Alan Mullery, the club were going well in the promotion shake up again with two thirds of the season gone. They’d won twelve of the twenty-seven League fixtures thus far, losing just the once at fortress Goldstone. Twenty-two-year-old striker Peter Ward was fast becoming a club legend, dominating the goalscoring charts to add to his tally of a whopping thirty-six the previous season. Albion’s number eight had a new strike partner in Malcolm Poskett, who scored on his debut the previous week at Hull.

Protecting goalkeeper Eric Steele, the Seagulls defence included ex-Huddersfield and Coventry man Chris Cattlin, who would later return as manager. Preston’s young, impressive Player of the Year 1977, Mark Lawrenson, moved to Sussex that summer for £100,000 to play alongside former North End teammate Gary Williams and established centre half Andy Rollings.

Brian Horton was pivotal in the middle of the park. Local lad Tony Towner featured on the right wing, with Welsh international Peter O’Sullivan serving the other flank. Long-serving O’Sullivan joined as a teenager in 1970. Completing the home line up was the midfielder nicknamed the ‘tank’; Paul Clark made his debut back in November ’77 to grab the number ten shirt.

Perhaps inspired by Slade’s pre-match singalong, both teams did what the rockers asked. Brighton gave us goals from Horton and Poskett to defeat Burnley two-one, defender Derek Scott netted for the visitors. Mullery’s men sat fourth in the Division Two table, the same place where they’d finish at the end of the season. Albion agonisingly missed out on promotion to the top flight on goal difference alone; nine worse than third placed Tottenham. In fact, they were only two points off the title! The foundations, though, were in place for a successful promotion push the following season as Brighton hit the big time at last.

SLADE Clap SLADE Guitar and backing vocals

But before the match, it was Slade’s turn to ignite the ground. Their line up at the time comprised four members: Noddy Holder, Dave Hill, Jim Lea and Don Powell. The quartet performed in front of the North Stand at the Goldstone, on a little stage by the side of the pitch. Noddy was the enigmatic frontman, responsible for lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. In this video, draped in the blue and white Albion scarf (above left), he led the clapping and chanting, rousing fans to join in at every opportunity.

Above right, we see guitarists Jim Lea (yellow and black scarf) and Dave Hill (red and white scarf). Jim co-wrote the song with Noddy, as was the case for most of Slade’s back catalogue. The track heavily relied on the guitar to drive the familiar riff of the football chant, topped off with the rasping voice Holder was renowned for. The chorus lyrics were catchy; “We’ll beat ya, defeat ya, we’re ready to roll! Get the ball into the net and give us a goal!” The reviews weren’t glowing, but one from the music paper ‘Record Mirror’ at the time did state it “recaptures the football fervour that they used to build up” at gigs.

SLADE Drums SLADE Pitch

The band earned a reputation for their energetic and engaging Live performances, making good use of the gathered crowd for a fantastic atmosphere. Despite Slade’s decision to move into the football song market, the band members weren’t particularly fussed by the game. Hailing from Wolverhampton, some of the members would look out for their results but weren’t particularly sporty themselves. Drummer Don Powell is shown, above left, in the white scarf. Don recovered from a very bad car accident five years earlier, which left him with lifelong injuries and killed his partner.

SLADE Noddy SLADE Football

There was an existing link between football and popular music, with many clubs and teams releasing their own songs. For the 1970 World Cup, England’s trophy holders sang the famous ‘Back Home’, which reached top spot and kicked off a tradition of the tournament anthem to celebrate their participation. Clubs reaching the FA Cup Final would often follow suit, with the likes of Arsenal, Leeds and Chelsea all lending their voices to vinyl early on in the decade. The players tended to also appear in the video. So this recording needed some footballing actions shots too.

SLADE Dave SLADE More football

Interspersed between clips of Noddy and the gang giving the North Stand a performance to remember with their musical instruments, the band also took part in a football match with some of the Brighton players. The musicians donned the famous blue and white stripes of the Albion for a kickabout on a frosty winter’s day, with their ‘opponents’ decked in red. It was so cold that Dave Hill needed a thick bobble hat to protect his skinhead top, with the guitarist complaining of the temperatures throughout. This was recorded separately to the Burnley match day, during a squad training session. Several of the Albion first team were involved, including Eric Steele who was standing firm in goal. See how many you can spot.

SLADE Supporters SLADE North Stand

A crowd of 22,694 was recorded in attendance at the Goldstone for the Burnley match. The North Stand terrace behind the goal was full of Albion fans ready to make their music video cameo in the build up to the big game. With the club flying at the top end of the table, it was an exciting time to be a Brighton supporter. It’s not every day you get to be a film extra. Could you imagine Withdean Stadium being used as a rock backdrop?!

Spectators were shown making their way down to the stadium and through the turnstiles. In the stands, the sea of blue and white scarves brightened (and Brighton-ed) up the screen, bouncing around to the music being played out just yards in front of them. A small stage was erected in the penalty area adjacent to the goal to elevate Slade, their recording equipment and instruments whilst several cameramen recorded the scenes.

SLADE Goal SLADE Net

The filmmakers wanted a big finish to the video, with one of the band scoring a goal as the climax. However, none of them had really played the game since leaving school and so it appeared much trickier than first thought. None of them could put it in the back of the net! Which might explain the slightly odd footage of the ball entering a virtually open goal (above right) but with no indication of how it got there. Drummer Don Powell is credited by Dave Kemp with the strike to bring the curtain down on the video. As the lyrics suggested, they stopped their fancy footwork and just gave us a goal. The whistle blew. It was now all ready to go and send round the broadcasters for airplay.

SLADE Programme

Excerpt from the Brighton programme against Sunderland, 25/2/78, housed online by Seagulls Programmes

Disappointingly, the song failed to chart and so there would be no appearance on the number one music show, Top of the Pops. However, that didn’t mean it sunk without a trace. Children’s television programmes gave many artists a platform to connect with the public, some even making their screen debuts there. First to televise the band’s new football song was ITV’s anarchic Saturday morning powerhouse TISWAS.


TELEVISION COVERAGE

‘TISWAS’ video broadcast; ATV, 9.30am-12pm; Sat 4th March 1978 

TISWAS Titles TISWAS Tarrant

TISWAS TV Times Listing

TV Times Listing, 4/3/78

As confirmed by the band’s excellent fan site Dave Kemp and Slade, TISWAS aired the ‘Give us a Goal’ music video on the morning of Saturday 4th March; not long after release. An acronym for ‘Today is Saturday, Watch and Smile’, TISWAS began in January 1974 as a strand for children which linked together programmes in ITV’s midlands region of ATV. As the popularity of the presenter links overtook much of the programming they were introducing, it began to be picked up by other regions as the years progressed. By the time of this fourth series during 1977/78, the HTV, Anglia, Granada, Border and Scottish Television regions were all airing the show.

At the time it was fronted by ATV’s news and current affairs host Chris Tarrant (above right), as he did from the outset, and former Midlands sports reporter Trevor East alongside newcomer this series, Sally James. TISWAS started to enter its ‘golden age’ with slapstick characters such as ‘The Phantom Flan Flinger’ causing chaos in the studio, and early appearances from comedians and showbiz stars who would later go on to become household names; such as Lenny Henry, Frank Carson, Bob Carolgees and Jasper Carrott.

But the ITV region serving the Brighton and Hove area, Southern Television, didn’t begin to take the show until, at least, the end of 1979. So local Albion fans would not have seen their Goldstone Ground home appearing in Slade’s music video when TISWAS gave it this television outing.


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‘Get It Together’ performance; Granada, 4.20-4.45pm; Tue 14th March 1978

GET Titles GET Roy North

GET TV Listing

TV Times Listing, 14/3/78

Slade performed the song in the Granada studios in mid-March, as they appeared on children’s afternoon programme Get It Together on ITV. This was a weekly pop music show as groups and artists showcased their latest single in front of a studio of excitable children. Slade’s performance was on the penultimate episode of series 2.

Get It Together was broadcast on Tuesday afternoons at 4.20pm, the ideal post-school slot. It was shown across most of the ITV network, with the exception of Wales. The performances provided many bands with their first TV appearance at a time when there were few opportunities for up and coming acts.

Another key element of the show was performances from the hosts, who at the time were Roy North and New Faces winner Linda Fletcher. They were the show’s original presenters, joining for the April 1977 launch. As well as singing, North was better known as having been the straight man to Basil Brush for three years, playing Mr Roy.

As the series went on, it adapted its format to include a house band with backing singers and, of course, its own dance troupe – known as The Teri Scoble Dancers. It would run for over four years with almost one hundred episodes.

Slade’s song was part of a football themed episode, sharing the bill with ‘Hampden’s Heroes’ singing Scotland’s track for that summer’s World Cup. The audience cheered and clapped along, adorned with football shirts and scarves, to really get into the spirit of it.

GET Slade GET Audience


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‘Cheggers Plays Pop’ performance; BBC1, 4.40-5.05pm; Mon 17th April 1978

CHEGGERS Titles CHEGGERS Chegwin

CHEGGERS Genome Listing

Radio Times Listing from BBC Genome

Young Scouse actor-turned-television presenter Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin became a household name in the mid-70s through his work on children’s programming. He was part of the BBC’s Saturday morning alternative to TISWASMulti-Coloured Swap Shop with Noel Edmonds and John Craven from 1976.

That led to success in his own right as host of Cheggers Plays Pop two years later. This was classic kids TV, with a screaming young audience taking part in silly games and challenges in the studio, punctuated by performances from the latest hitmakers. The second ever episode had Slade belting out a performance of “Give us a Goal”. Again, the crowd were decked in football scarves to look the part.

CHEGGERS Slade CHEGGERS Slade on stage


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FIFA ’09 commercial; EA Sports television advert soundtrack, 2008 

FIFA Rooney FIFA Gameplay

FIFA TaglineAfter not achieving much success, the song garnered a mini revival some thirty years later. Computer game makers EA Sports used “Give us a Goal” as the soundtrack for the official television advert for the latest in their football series FIFA ’09. The full four-minute commercial featured Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney taking on Real Madrid’s Higuain as they went head to head playing the game, whilst hundreds gathered in the street to cheer and watch on the big screen.

Whilst this wasn’t enough to push the track into the charts for the first time, it did bring it to a whole new audience who wouldn’t have been aware of it or even around at the first time of asking.


Those Albion supporters who were heading to the Goldstone Ground on that bitterly cold day on 11th February 1978 would likely have been blissfully unaware that later that afternoon they’d be the unwitting stars of a rock music video. The players must have been listening closely to Slade’s instructions to “Give us a Goal”, as the following season Brighton were promoted into the top flight for the first time in club history. Cum on feel the noize!

SLADE Scarves

SOURCES and EXTRA READING

World Cup 2018: #2 TV Preview BBC

This event deserves expert comment, analysis and insight and our unrivalled line up of presenters, pundits and commentators are sure to engage viewers and listeners as excitement builds throughout the tournament [Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport]

2014 may just go down as a landmark year for BBC football. The World Cup in Brazil was a clear change of approach from the Beeb, full of new faces and a far better editorial attitude. Compare that to their 2010 output, with Alan Hansen in semi-retirement mode, Lee Dixon openly mocked by his fellow pundit for bothering to do research, and Colin Murray spinning 360° in his chair purely to win a bet. The whole thing was lazy, outdated and very much the old boys club. Since 2014 it’s a whole new ball game, to borrow a famous football television slogan.

The 2018 World Cup team the BBC has assembled shows no sign of halting this great improvement. Lead as ever by Gary Lineker, now anchoring his 10th major football championships for the channel, he is better than ever. He has a real comfortable presence in front of the camera and gets so much more out of his guests by asking more pertinent questions because he played at the highest level. His increased workload thanks to fronting the Champions League on BT Sport has only made him stronger. It’s no wonder he gets the vast majority of the live games at tournaments.

Lineker is ably backed up by a raft of decent presenters to pick up the remaining live games, highlights shows and preview programmes. Dan Walker and Mark Chapman will be the more prominent but I’d expect Manish Bhasin and Jason Mohammad to also crop up here and there. Gabby Logan reprises her usual role in the England camp, where she does a good job. It’s a slight shame she’s only in that role, on most other channels she’d be higher up the pecking order but she is the face of athletics and major events so she does get a decent profile the rest of the time.

The biggest improvement eight years on is alongside Gary in the studio. Alan Shearer has grown into a good lead pundit, capable of insightful analysis and strong opinions. When paired with another stand-out analyst it’s great viewing. An example would be Frank Lampard, who has been outstanding on BT and Match of the Day this season. Other regulars Jermaine Jenas, Kevin Kilbane, Phil Neville and Rio Ferdinand all shine in the studio and form a very strong core. Ferdinand is particularly enjoyable and has been part of an excellent trio with Lampard and Steven Gerrard on BT. Sadly Gerrard’s services weren’t secured to replicate that in the summer.

As is now customary, there is much anticipation about which international stars will be loaned in. Jurgen Klinsmann leads the way here as the most experienced non-staffer. He’s usually strong and brings a sense of fun to proceedings, though not always available due to managing at the tournament. Whilst he isn’t doing that this time, star of BBC 2014 Thierry Henry will be; as assistant to occasional pundit Roberto Martinez with Belgium. Though with them in England’s group I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunity for interviews and maybe an occasional appearance if they get knocked out early doors. Elsewhere Didier Drogba and ex-West Ham and Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta will make their punditry debuts and they are total wildcards, I honestly have no idea how they will do but I’m sure they’ll do an ok job, if unspectacular. Like Larsson and Evra on ITV this time, or Fabio Cannavaro and Edgar Davids of World Cup TV past.

Newly-retired Arsenal ladies captain Alex Scott will play a fairly prominent part it seems. She’s appeared on all sorts in the last season, from hosting MOTD Kickabout on CBBC, punditing on Final Score and Football Focus, through to live match reporting on Sky’s Premier League coverage. She’s keen, she’s versatile and most importantly she’s very good. In 2016 on ITV Eni Aluko was kept on highlights, I would expect her and Scott to be on the odd live game this time round. And it’s not just the studio where there are female breakthroughs, the BBC will have a commentator for the first time at a tournament. Vicki Sparks has been semi-regular on MOTD this season, particularly on the FA Cup, and she gets her chance here behind the more established voices.

bbc-world-cup-2018.jpg

Since 2010 Guy Mowbray has been the undisputed BBC number one post-John Motson however this summer it isn’t quite as clear. Steve Wilson just called the FA Cup Final for the first time so is he in for a run as the lead? Probably not. More likely is we have the situation like in the early 90’s when Motson was their long-time top dog but the excellent Barry Davies was occasionally given a Cup final to keep him sweet and the pair of them on their toes. That situation now would probably be the best for all; share out the big games a bit more among their fantastic crop of regulars, including Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower and Simon Brotherton, all of whom will be in Russia for them. My money would still be on Mowbray to call the final but it’s certainly made it more interesting.

The last area to comment on is, like ITV’s, most definitely their weakest. That is the co-commentator. Danny Murphy, the stand out from four years ago, has done FA Cup Finals and the Euro 2016 culmination but Martin Keown did this year’s Cup. It doesn’t seem as clear cut in this area than others as to who their main man is but those two definitely lead the way. Mark Lawrenson unfortunately will also be there still despite having his workload significantly reduced in recent years. And elsewhere some of the studio pundits will probably lend their voice to live comms too, namely Jenas and Kilbane. And why not. The interesting choice will be who gets the Beeb’s two live England games. Keown is probably favourite after he did this two years ago but quite frankly he’s horrendously negative and just plain wrong and bizarre with his analysis so I’m hoping Murphy gets them. He’s inconsistent but more hit than miss. Let’s hope assignments are made on form.

The depth of the squad this year makes this the BBC’s strongest line up on paper for any tournament. But football broadcasting isn’t done on paper. We’re definitely in for a treat though and I can’t wait to get it all started. There’s a bonus preview show on World Cup eve. The countdown is on.

WATCH The BBC World Cup 2018 promo

READ The BBC Press Pack here

World Cup 2018: #1 TV Preview ITV

Even in an era of super clubs and global interest in the Champions League and Premier League, the World Cup remains simply the biggest show in football.” [ITV Commentator Clive Tyldesley]

We live in a golden age of football broadcasting. Punditry has never been as engaging, detailed or enjoyable. The depth of commentary is huge. Presenting and reporting is of such a good standard that it’s rare to see a bad job done. Seemingly gone are the days of ex-pros turning up having proudly done no research and phoning it in. Just in time to perform at the highest level; the FIFA World Cup.

Both broadcasters – BBC and ITV – announced their summer line ups, a real sign that the domestic season is pretty much done and all eyes turn towards Russia. The best thing about recent tournaments from a viewers perspective has been the dedicated sports channels loaning out some of their top talent. This year is no exception.

ITV went public with their squad first. The current regulars are all in there; Lee Dixon, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and Ian Wright. Joining them is ITV’s stellar signing, widely renowned as the best pundit in the business, Sky Sports’ Gary Neville. GNev has worked for ITV before, whilst still as a player at World Cup 2002 and again briefly during Euro 2008. But since joining Sky straight after retirement he has transformed the art of analysis tremendously. He’ll hopefully be heavily involved this time around.

One of the stars of the 2014 World Cup studio was Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, a man never short of an entertaining opinion. As ROI didn’t qualify this year he’ll link up with his assistant Keane to deliver the goods once again. The surprise star guest of Euro 2016 was the former West Ham and Croatia manager Slaven Bilic. His casual blend of engaging, intelligent and insightful analysis delivered in an entertainingly unpredictable way was must see TV. I’m delighted he’s been snapped up again.

There are always a couple of international wildcards on these panels. In 2014 ITV had Fabio Cannavaro. This year it’s Patrice Evra. The ex-Man Utd full back is lively and fun on social media, always positive and known for his catchphrase “I love this game!” If that can translate to the studio then he could be a great guest. He won’t be there to give forensic analysis but no doubting he’s got good tactical knowledge. The same goes for their other surprise; Henrik Larsson. He was a phenomenal player for Celtic and won the lot at Barcelona so his CV is impressive but his limited media appearances are slightly dull so I’m not expecting much. It’s a shame Lothar Matthaus isn’t returning.

Someone who is returning from the Euros is Chelsea ladies striker Eni Aluko. She became the first female pundit at a men’s major tournament with her appearances on the highlights shows two years ago. This time round you’d expect a couple of live games too. She did a solid job and is more comfortable in front of the camera now so could be one to watch. Completing the main studio line up will be former referee Mark Clattenburg. This could be the trump card with the introduction of VAR, Video Assistant Referees, at this Cup. The trials conducted in the FA Cup this season have been nothing short of disastrous and I’m expecting similar here. Confusion, indecision, inconsistency, we’ve seen it all. It makes total sense to be able to call upon a referee to help interpret the decisions in play and in Clattenburg they have a man who has already performed this role on BT Sport before. The Beeb don’t seem to have this option.

Anchoring proceedings from the studio in Moscow will be Mark Pougatch, as in 2016. We know exactly what we’re gonna get with him, a strong, safe pair of hands. But unspectacular. And that’s where the forgotten man Adrian Chiles really excelled. Personally he’ll be a great miss as the World Cup affords longer studio time and indulges personality-based hosts more than the regular season highlights shows can. Another huge loss from four years ago is Matt Smith. Jacqui Oatley is the current understudy and again she too lacks a lot of the charm, warmth and wit of her predecessor. The pundits are going to have to do a little heavy lifting during ITV’s pre and post match coverage it would seem.

ITV World Cup 18

The commentary is largely unchanged from the last few years with Clive Tyldesley leading the line for the tenth major tournament in succession. He’s backed up by Sam Matterface and Joe Speight, both decent reserves. The good news is the excellent Jon Champion returns after working elsewhere in recent years. He adds a certain level of gravitas, authority, broadcasting ability and knowledge that’s been missing. Even if he will only be used sparingly on live matches.

Accompanying them in the box will be Glenn Hoddle on the main games and England matches. Iain Dowie is set to partner Matterface after a successful Euros following Northern Ireland around. And a warm welcome back to former ITV stalwart Ally McCoist. He was their joint lead pundit at the turn of the century, alongside the now departed Andy Townsend, before going into management. He’ll be alongside Champion predominantly, the duo I’m most looking forward to hearing. There’s not much excitement here compared to a promising studio line up but there are still some gems amongst them.

Completing the team travelling around the vast expanse of Russia will be the outstanding, and currently underused, reporter Gabriel Clarke, and relative newcomer Seema Jaswal. She’s better known to the rest of the world for her work on Premier League TV but has cropped up on just about all the terrestrial channels in recent months. They can capture what I’m hoping will still be a fun and enjoyable tournament from the fans perspective. It better be seeing as it’s my first World Cup! Forget what’s gone on before, it’s about the now and it all starts soon.

WATCH The ITV World Cup 2018 promo

READ The ITV Press Pack here