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Camden Underworld,London 20 February 2004

Finally get to see the Sweet after first seeing them on TV’s ‘Top of the Pops’ back in 1975 in all their glam glory. The Sweet and Queen were the first bands to get a young seven year old into the wonderful world of rock ‘n‘ roll. The Sweet tonight were appearing as the Sweet, not Andy Scott’s Sweet, as years of legal wrangling over the use of the name have finally been sorted. They drew a near sell out crowd to the Underworld and the best news was that they will be back!

But first the support, Freewheeler who typifies a good time rock band - the dirty blues guitar of AC/DC and a singer not shy of the stage! They were a tight unit and the singer had a fine blues rock voice and they did a killer cover of the Stones’ ‘Get Yer Rocks Off’. If you get a chance go see this band live as they may not have an original sound but boy they were made for the stage.

Joining original guitarist Andy Scott in the Sweet were vocalist/bassist Tony O’Hara (ex-Praying Mantis), Steve Grant on guitar/keyboards and Bisley on drums (ex-Praying Mantis and currently in Statetrooper). From the off they promised a gig of rock tunes so no ‘Wig Wam Bam’ or ‘Papa Joe’ (despite the drummer trying to play the intro of the latter!). In a word they rocked! From the sleaze rock of ‘Cockroach’, to the anthems ‘Teenage Rampage’ and ‘Lost Angels’ (Andy Scott is still hitting those high notes).

The oft-covered and Def Leppard live staple, ‘Action’ got a rousing response and was dedicated to Dave Ling of ‘Classic Rock’, who was in the audience. Andy Scott dedicated ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’ to the late Brian Connolly and bizarrely the band broke into ELP’s version of ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’ and a fine version it was too! The band were obviously having as much fun as the audience and Tony O’Hara is very assured vocally, as it can’t be easy singing someone else’s songs. Of course ‘Blockbuster’ and ‘Ballroom Blitz’ got an airing along with my personal favourite ‘Fox On The Run’. A great gig and good to see such a healthy turnout with fans travelling from Poland, Denmark and Germany to see the band.

Review: Jason Ritchie

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