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The Sweet In Concert
The Sweet didn't start out intending to define a new genre of rock ‘n' roll, but they just couldn't help themselves. As they immersed themselves in London's post-psychedelic music scene, the four working-class lads of The Sweet — singer Brian Connolly, guitarist Andy Scott, bassist Steve Priest, and drummer Mick Tucker — grew discontent with the sugary pop of their early-1970s singles.
The next decade saw them unearthing new ideas in music and fashion, and the band caught hold, embracing and even competing with David Bowie's gender-bending persona with increasingly flamboyant musical flourishes. Their 1974 breakout album Desolation Boulevard found Connolly screeching as much as singing and Scott deploying funk-infused wah-wah guitar and spacey synth effects alongside Priest's undeniably funky bass lines.
Most famously, Scott's riffage combined with Connolly's cartoonish vocals on The Sweet's biggest hit, "Ballroom Blitz." That song, along with further glam-rock landmarks "Fox on the Run" and "The Six Teens," established The Sweet on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Suddenly the band was at the center of a revolution, and they had the songs to back it up.
After the release of 1978's Level Headed album, Connolly left the band to start a solo career. The rest of the band carried on without him, releasing three more albums before breaking up in 1981. Glam rock evolved into heavy metal, trading playfulness and fluid sexuality for raw aggression and machismo. But the songs remained.
These days, four decades after the band's heyday, the two living original members — Priest and Scott — tour with their own versions of The Sweet. Priest, the bassist, relocated to Los Angeles, gathered a lineup of younger musicians from that city's accomplished rock scene, and regularly tours the United States. Scott stuck around London and put together a new band there that often plays to adoring fans across Europe and Australia.