Anyone who loves our form of music, just has to love The Sweet. Who do people think bands like Def Leppard and Motley Crue were trying to be, when they started? The Sweet, of course. If none sounded quite like them, it's because none could sing that high, or layer that many harmonies without losing something. The Sweet did not have this problem. Everyone knows "Ballroom Blitz" of course but I've been buying all their back catalogue and finding all sorts of treasures in there. So, I was super excited to hear they were touring Australia, even though I knew two of them are dead. Turns out the lead guitarist is the only original member. The band's website boasts that they still play to sellout crowds, which is a bit disingenuous when they play small rooms that hold 400 odd people, but, for all that, those 400 people were very excited to be waiting to hear the Sweet on a Wednesday night.
We were not disappointed. The new singer does not sound anything like the original but, he can certainly sing (and why wouldn't you hire ring ins who can do the job?) Andy Scott also did a lot of secondary vocals on the original recordings, such as "We just don't know WHAT to do," in "Blockbuster," so it's a bit odd to suddenly have the band sound JUST like the record, instead of a cover band, but it was clear that Andy in particular, still has his pipes and can handle all the higher harmonies that their music requires.
The Sweet are the sort of band where it's easy to forget how many "hits" they have. Several of these were compressed in to medleys, to make them all fit in one set. Songs like "Co-co and Poppa Joe" are probably best treated that way, but I think Wig Wam Bam and Little Willy deserved a full hearing. Before the show, I spent $30 on two CDs (one new, one live) and a program. The live CD was basically their set, except they also did "Peppermint Twist" (I'm not sure why), and "Action" (thankfully, that's my favorite Sweet song).
They apparently did a cover of "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again" in 1992, which, as any regular readers will know, is by my favorite Aussie band, the Angels. Rick Brewster, who wrote the song, now lives in Tasmania, so they pulled him out to do the song as an added bonus for the Hobart crowd. It was quite amusing to see they probably thought of this last minute, as no-one in the band knew the words, and Rick had to take over at one point. It was definitely an added bonus.
The new CD is mostly covers, and because some are obscure, and there's no credits on there so it's hard to know what songs were new. The songs include "You Spin Me Round" (as done by Dead or Alive in the 80s), "Because the Night" (as done by Keel in the 80s) and "Blitzkreig Bop." They did "Gold On The Ceiling" live, and I think it's theirs. It's a good song. The CD is worth getting if you get a chance.
So, I can add The Sweet to my list of bands that I've seen in their current form, although I wish I'd seen the originals. I bought a Sweet live CD, obviously bootlegged, on Amazon, and I think they sound better now than they did back in the day... probably because they can't afford to buy drugs anymore. Either way, if you get a chance to see the Sweet, I'd say it's worth it, and if you don't own Desolation Boulevard, and Give Us A Wink (the latter almost entirely for "Action"), then you need to buy them now.