The Sweet/Tony Wright –
The Apex, Bury St. Edmunds, 1st December, 2022
After a couple of days, I am back at the Apex for a concert that cries out nostalgia! The venue is standing and packed, it is going to be a glam rock party.
Set List: Self Portrait/Sleep/Blues/Buried You Deeper/Jenette & Janine/Cannonball.
Tony Wright (from Terrorvision) took to the stage to a warm welcome. He performed a well-received set of Country/Folk with a dash of ironic Yorkshire humour. He was playing as part of duo with accomplice, Milton 'Milly' Evans.
The pair put a smile on the crowds faces as he regaled us with stories from Bradford. He kicked off with ‘Self Portrait’ and closed the 30-minute set with ‘Cannonball’. These songs were unfamiliar to me but I thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Set List: Action/New York Groove/Hell Raiser/Burn On The Flame/The Six Teens/Everything/Windy City/Set Me Free/Teenage Rampage/Wig Wam/Little Willy/Love Is Like Oxygen/Fox On The Run.
Encore: Blockbuster/Ballroom Blitz.
A band with the hits & legacy of the Sweet can never fail. I know that it is hardly the original line-up but Andy Scott remains and tonight's show proved he is a star. My wife, Jane stated that, “He can still play that guitar and hit those high notes giving the authentic ‘Sweet’ sound.”
Paul Manzi fronts the group, he has appeared on two ‘Cats In Space’ albums, he has also sung on three acclaimed albums by ‘Arena’ his voice providing us with a ‘Blockbuster’ of an evening, which would prove to be a ‘Hellraiser’ & glamtastic! As Jane perfectly puts it, “He fits the bill perfectly with his glorious mane of hair and fantastic voice (even though we are told he has a chest infection!) as he commands and conducts the audience.”
Bruce Bisland provided the bombast on drums his perpetual smile was a joy to see. He has been with Andy for 30 years. Lee Small plays bass and has appeared on over 20 albums, with artists like ‘Native Cain’, ‘Shy’ ‘Phenomena’ and ‘Lionheart’, he oozes character as fills his role.
But it is all about Andy and the hits, opening with ‘Action’ we were all soon having a ‘Ballroom Blitz’. Smiles lit up the Apex as did Andy’s playing and ability to hit those famous high notes, ‘We simply haven’t got a clue what to do’. I have to mention Andy’s incredible mane of hair. He must use some expensive conditioner!
The audience were maybe too old to go on a ‘Teenage Rampage’. Many, like me were pre-teens when ‘Wig Wam Bam’ and ‘Little Willy’ hit the charts. They may have been here to relive their youth and Sweet certainly gave us all the opportunity to do that! Their performance was full of power and they entertained with energy and vitality.
Jane also added that she was “completely surprised and blown away learning the band has never really gone off the radar as they play songs from their new album. I love the rockiness of their sound. A thoroughly enjoyable evening with heavier rock and jolly sing-a-longs from the old days. ‘Sweet’ are a band that I would recommend seeing, seriously.”
The impact the show had on the crowd was clearly evident by the smile on my friend, Ian Bunker’s face, that was still beaming days after the show. Sweet had performed with passion, pride & professionalism. The whole band seemingly overwhelmed by the reception they had received, it was totally deserved, as they were back, back in the Apex groove.
Review By Paul 'Rhino' Mace & Jane Mace
Photographs also By Paul Mace