Review: SWEET – Manchester Academy 2

On a cold December evening, I’m hoping that my favourite band from when I was a kid can warm me up. Unfortunately, due to illness, Limehouse Lizzy have had to pull out but Welsh Blues guitarist Troy Redfern keeps us entertained. He’s an excellent exponent of slide guitar and his thirty-minute support slot includes ‘Scorpio’, ‘Waiting For Your Love’, ‘Sanctify’ and he finishes with T Rex’s ‘20th Century Boy’. The crowd are very appreciative.

Sweet“We want Sweet” the crowd chant and at precisely 20:45 their wishes are granted. Andy Scott is now the only remaining member from the classic seventies line-up. However, he has surrounded himself with a stellar set of musicians; Paul Manzi on vocals, Lee Small on bass, drummer Bruce Bisland and new boy Tom Cory on guitar and keyboards. Cory is a full-time member of The Novatines who supported Sweet on their UK tour two years ago and Scott produced their debut album, hence the association.

‘Action’ kicks off proceedings in a rousing fashion. Next up is a cover of Hello’s ‘New York Groove’ which includes fine backing vocals from Bisland and Cory. Lee Small is unable to help out due to a throat infection which is a huge shame as he possesses a fine voice. ‘Burn On The Flame’ rocks with Manzi in fine form. Scott proceeds to tell us that he injured his hand before the tour started but luckily, it’s not hampering his guitar playing. ‘Hell Raiser’ gets the crowd into a frenzy, there are plenty in wigs, platforms and flares! ‘The Six Teens’ sees Manzi showing how to command an audience – we’re eating out of his hands and his voice is in fine form. Deep cut ‘Windy City’ is superb and a lot of the fans are singing along. ‘Everything’ is the latest single (it’s a reworked version, the original was released in 2002) and it’s a fine slab of Melodic Rock – great stuff.

‘Teenage Rampage’ has everyone bopping along – Scott and his cohorts know how to entertain. The hits continue with a segue of ‘Wig Wam Bam’ and ‘Little Willy’ and we’re transported back to our youth. Highlight of the night for me personally is the full version of ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’ which also includes ELP’s ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’ half way through – Prog heaven! The main set ends with a stonking version of ‘Fox On The Run’ and the band takes their well-deserved plaudits.

After a couple of minutes, they’re back out as a siren is wailing and you know what is coming next… the crowd go wild as ‘Blockbuster’ is aired and we’re back in 1973. ‘Ballroom Blitz’ ends the night in a magical way.

Andy Scott has played a blinder on guitar and in getting this superb band together. A fantastic Sweet night.

Review: Az Chaudhry

Live images – Dave Jamieson

Check Also

CHEZ KANE: New Single ‘Powerzone’ – New Album Autumn 2022

Frontiers Music Srl is thrilled to announce the release today of ‘Powerzone’, a brand new …

Great Music Stories: Modern Rock Collection Volume 3

Following the success of Volumes 1 and 2, Great Music Stories is giving away the …

The Velvet Hands: New Single – Holiday In My Head

Taking equal parts inspiration from 1970’s new wave and 2000’s indie, The Velvet Hands, formed …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.