The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

THE SWEET

FEATURING ANDY SCOTT

 

With ALMOST SLAYED

 

THE REGAL THEATRE, SUBIACO

10TH MARCH 2012

 

Words by Shane Pinnegar | Images by Mark Diggins


Andy Scott’s Sweet are back in Perth for the second time in just under a year, and this time they have new album “New York Connection” under their arm and ready to share.


First up, local tribute act ALMOST SLAYED take their places decked out in 70’s Slade costumes, and had the enthusiastic crowd in their hands immediately due in no small part to energetic renditions of these glam classics, a dynamic stage presence and singer Danny’s note-perfect Noddy Holder turn.

 

 

The crowd danced, stomped, clapped and yelled through opener ‘Gudbuy To Jane’, all the way through the ballad double header ‘Our Love’ and ‘Far Far Away’, signature tune ‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ and stomping set closer ‘Get Down & Get With It’ with an affection usually reserved for a headline act.


The audience still had plenty of energy and love left for the stars of tonight’s show –The Sweet entered the darkened stage cheekily to David Rose’s The Stripper just as they often did in the 70’s, the biggest round of applause was naturally reserved for original member & band leader Andy Scott, before ripping into a muscular and hard rocking ‘Hellraiser’.

 

 

There’s no cabaret going on with this band – they’re vibrant and alive, and perhaps rock harder even than in the band’s original line-up, with charismatic singer/bassist Peter Lincoln running the show while Scott tells a few anecdotes along the way. Bruce Bisland has been pounding the drums with Andy for 20 years now and never misses a beat, while Tony O’Hora – newly reinstated to the ranks – covers keys, guitars and sings.

 

 

With a new album of cover versions “given The Sweet treatment” to sell there are some unfamiliar (at least in this form) tunes in the setlist - Russ Ballard’s ‘New York Groove’ translates brilliantly into a glorious celebration of The Sweet’s trademark 70’s glam sound, ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ is a pulsating turn on the recent Black Keys tune, ‘All Moving Faster’ by 90’s New York punks Electric Frankenstein’ and last year’s single ‘Join Together’, originally by The Who, are both enjoyable though haven’t undergone a complete transformation into Sweet songs.

 

But it’s the 70’s hits that most of the crowd are here to see, and they aren’t disappointed: ‘Hellraiser’, ‘Turn It Down’, ‘The Six Teens’, ‘Coco’, ‘Papa Joe’, ‘Wig Wam Bam’, ‘Little Willy’ – even ‘Peppermint Twist’, the Australian number One hit that the band didn’t even realised had been released. It’s a dream setlist documenting the moment when glam and hard rock collided head-on with bubblegum, irresistible melodies and hooks co-existing perfectly with huge riffs and pounding beats. Glorious stuff.

 

 

Perhaps Scott’s finest songwriting moment ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’, is dedicated to Brian and Mick from the original band, who are sadly no longer with us. To reiterate the point that this is not a cabaret act doing sad and faded cover versions of long ago glory days, Andy reminds us that THIS is the band now, everything moves on & everything is played live by the four guys on stage – “there are no gimmicks with this band”. It’s respectful and touching, but also a bold statement of pride & intent and probably no small amount of frustration. Slipping into ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’ gives a treat to the pomp rock fans.

 

For the hard rockers, ‘Teenage Rampage’ and ‘Blockbuster’ start the slide towards the finish line, and those incredible harmony vocals and the sheer musicianship on show throughout the whole night come to a pinnacle with a spine tingling ‘Fox On The Run’.

 

 

The TKO one-two hit of the encore – ‘Action’ and ‘Ballroom Blitz’ – leaves the crowd reeling, dazed, before a mad dash to the foyer to queue up to meet the band who come directly out from leaving the stage, apologising for being sweaty and out of breath.

 

Andy Scott especially has every right to be resting on his laurels about now, yet he and The Sweet are out there delivering feisty and vital rock n’ roll to the world – and thank goodness for that! Scott assaults his guitar like a man half his age, boasting such a distinctive tone, and in his own words “As long as I have breath in my body I promise you I will not stop this” – long may he rock!

 

Setlists:

Almost Slayed

Gudbuy To Jane
Cos I Luv You
Look Wot U Dun
Mama Weer All Crazee Now
Our Love
Far Far Away
Cum On Feel The Noize
Get Down & Get With It

The Sweet

Hellraiser
Turn It Down
New York Groove
Peppermint Twist
The Six Teens
Gold On The Ceiling
All Moving Faster
Coco
Papa Joe
Wig Wam Bam
Little Willy
Teenage Rampage
Everything
Love Is Like Oxygen/ Fanfare For The Common Man
Join Together
Blockbuster
Fox On The Run

Action
Ballroom Blitz