Show review: Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe at Leeds City Varieties

Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe
Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe
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YOU wouldn’t necessarily label Noddy Holder and Mark Radcliffe a double act but, put two such national treasures on the same stage and that is, essentially, what you get.

Perhaps fitting, then, that their two-man show ‘Look Wot You Dun’ (named after a 1970s song by Holder’s band Slade) should land up at Leeds’ City Varieties Music Hall.

It’s essentially a vehicle for the charming Holder to run through his time as frontman, guitarist and co-songwriter for the Black Country band, who first began life as The N’ Betweens in the late 60s before transforming into Slade in the early 70s when, allying themselves to the Glam Rock movement, they became one of the biggest UK bands.

The anecdotes from Holder – backed by large-screen stills and videos from the era – begin from early pre-Slade tours to Germany right through to the present day, thanks mainly to a Q&A session in the second half of the show which reveals some rather unglamorous aspects of life on tour in Europe in the mid-to-late 60s when bands would sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to make ends meet and put food on the table.

It’s a thoroughly engaging two hours with the duo, with radio presenter Radcliffe – currently enjoying life as part of another ‘double act’ with Stuart Maconie on 6 Music – playing a crucial role, often called upon to playfully put Holder down with a witty one-liner, or bring him back to the main thrust of the Slade story whenever he veers off on a wild tangent – not that the hugely appreciative crowd ever complains.

Holder, who plays a handful of acoustic numbers throughout, spent eight years as a regular guest on an earlier Radcliffe radio show and it’s clear the two have a lot of affection and respect for each other. It’s a key reason why the format works so well and why the show was a virtual sell-out.

Show date: May 16