Ipswich: Ex AC/DC drummer Chris Slade ready to shake Venue 77 all night long

Chris Slade, coming to Ipswich's Venue 77

Chris Slade, coming to Ipswich's Venue 77 - Credit: Archant

Ex- AC/DC drummer Chris Slade doesn’t tell his neighbours what he does for a living, although he hasn’t played drums at home for a very long time.

Chris Slade with Elvis Presley and Tom Jones

Chris Slade with Elvis Presley and Tom Jones - Credit: Archant

“A drummer needs good neighbours,” jokes Mr Thunderstruck, appearing at Ipswich’s Venue 77, Fore Hamlet, on May 3 with his new touring band The Chris Slade Timeline.

Chris Slade and AC/DC

Chris Slade and AC/DC - Credit: Archant

It’s a project he’s wanted to do for a long time.

“It incorporates all the music I’ve been involved in for the last 50 years,” says Slade, who will be joined by Steve Glasscock and Paul Davis on vocals, James Cornford on lead guitar, Michael J Clark on keyboards and Andy Crosby on bass.

He’s taken time out from his busy touring schedule, taking in Russia, Italy, Germany and Brazil, to play the UK.

“I’m just pleased to be busy all of the time, playing drums is my life and I enjoy every minute of it,” says Slade, who says way too many when I ask how many sticks and drum kits he must’ve gone through over the years playing for such greats as Uriah Heep, Manfred Mann’s Earthband, The Firm with Jimmy Page and Paul Rodgers, Asia, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker in MSG and Gary Numan to name a few.

He must have some stories?

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“Yes I have and I’m saving them all for the book which I’m in the process of writing,” adds the drummer, who puts playing in front of a million people in Moscow 1991 with AC/DC and Madison Square Gardens in 1966 with Tom Jones and the Count Basie Orchestra among his favourite gigs.

Joining Tom Jones as one of The Squires when he was 16; he knew drumming was for him very early on.

“I knew at 11-years-old what I wanted to do but everybody laughed at me,” he remembers. “My older brother, Danny, taught me some rudiments and I took it from there.”

Speaking of Jones, Slade played drums on his hit It’s Not Unusual.

“When we first recorded it it was a demo, it was only piano, guitar and drums, no time to set anything else up. We went to the pub after and said ‘this is a number one record’ we knew this was the case.”

Had Elvis Presley got his way, Slade’s life could’ve been quite different. The king asked him to become his drummer while he was in Las Vegas with Jones during the 1960s.

“It’s true. He offered me the gig and, to cut a long story short, Tom’s manager insisted on holding me to my contract with Tom. The biggest professional regret of my life.”

The Venue 77 crowd can expect two hours of hits.

“And I have a story for just about every song. The musicians in the band are worldclass, we’re also very pleased to have the great trio Soulweaver to open the show for us on that night. This is rare because Timeline don’t as a rule have any support act due to the length of our setlist.”

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