Glam-rock originators and treasured 1970s glitter-prototypes SWEET are about to go on the road again. The band has announced a 16-date national tour [details below] just before Christmas, and celebrating guitarist Andy Scott’s seventieth birthday year.
Formed in the mid 1960s, to become poster-boys of the Seventies, the band joined Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman to launch a series of hits that kept them high-in-the-charts at home and abroad.
Originally considered to be a bubblegum-act, their catchy uplifting vocal harmonies along with cheesy lyrics, metallic guitar riffs, heavy rhythms, glamolicious stage makeup, metro-sexual hair, leather accoutrements and indistinct sexual identities created a unique style that was to eventually become glam metal.
As Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe explains: “We wanted to be The Sweet...” And Gene Simmons adds: “Without the Sweet there would have been no KISS...”
The single “Little Willy” peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart after the American re-issue in 1973 [released in the UK, 1972] to become their biggest trans-Atlantic hit. It is said that their iconic “Ballroom Blitz” is based on a real-life incident, when Sweet were bottled off stage at the Great Hall, Kilmarnock, in Scotland by intolerant audience members who were angered by their lipstick & eye-shadow stage-presence. “Now the man in the back is ready to crack / as he raises his hands to the sky…”
In 1979, singer Brian Connolly left the lineup, leaving Andy Scott (guitar & vox) Steve Priest (bass, backing vox)and Mick Tucker (drums) to continue as trio. Sadly, both Brian Connolly & Mick Tucker passed away in 1997 and 2002 respectively.
When Steve Priest moved to the United States, Andy Scott was left to fly the flag. After a couple of line-up changes over the years, since 2006 the line-up has been primarily unchanged from what it is today, with: Andy Scott, Bruce Bisland (drums, vox) Tony O’Hora (lead vox, bass) and Paul Manzi (guitar, keyboards, vox).