Andy Scott of Sweet: 'Sometimes when I look back, it’s like I’m looking at a different person'
Glam rock royalty who have taken the world by storm for six decades, Sweet are at their best, performing all their iconic hits to audiences from every continent, all over the world. From the beginning to the end...
Guitarist/vocalist Andy Scott, the sole surviving original member at the heart of the band and the golden thread linking Sweet’s proud past to the present, is still fiercely protective of that legacy today as ever.
Understandably he knows better than anyone that the long tours can’t carry on indefinitely, with the band now looking to ‘wind down’ some of their live commitments.
Andy says: “This could be our last tour, but that doesn’t mean to say we’re not going to do any more gigs, just that we might not be doing 15-20 dates strung together. Then again, we might!”
Scoring 15 momentous top 40 hits in the Seventies, eight going top five – including classic 1973 UK number one Blockbuster – Sweet perfected the art of making memorable records in a highly-competitive era.
As well as the fire and steel shown in the recording studio and the glamour and excitement they transmitted onto our TV screens, there’s live passion too, something Andy plus bandmates Paul Manzi (lead vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals), Lee Small (bass guitar, vocals) and Tom Cory (guitar, keyboards) are keen to ensure remains. The present line-up has made an impact in the charts with recent single releases too.
And you can witness that first-hand as they return to the road leading up to Christmas. Sweet’s ‘Full Circle’ tour of 13 dates opens in Wrexham (where Andy played his first gig at a church hall 60 years ago) and ends in Frome, Wiltshire (close to his West Country base of 30-plus years).
2023 has been a busy year for the band, as Andy explains.
“We’ve done a lot abroad this year, and it’s been an interesting year. We’ve done over half a dozen festivals with the likes of Uriah Heep, Nazareth and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.”
But, as previously mentioned, it can’t last forever.
“That’s right,” says Andy. “I’m looking after my health and trying to take it more easy. The adrenalin carries you through, but we can’t be flying off to Denmark one day, then the Czech Republic the next. But overall, we’re all pretty good and really looking forward to the British tour.”
Sweet has always been linked to the glam rock genre (even though they are more ‘heavy’ than that), and glam’s most successful year was 1973 – 50 years ago, and it was when the band had their biggest hit, Blockbuster.
“Sometimes when I look back, it’s like I’m looking at a different person,” concedes Andy. “There are things I did then that I wouldn’t do now, like jumping around and blowing kisses to the camera.”
But the 74-year old Welshman is rather proud of those days. “Yes, I’m proud of it, you can’t not be. Everything you do models you to the person you become. If I hadn’t done one thing, I wouldn’t have done another.
“In the 80s, I was producing a girl band. They couldn’t really sing, which is why I won’t name them. But they said to me that they were sorry for wasting my time and I told them that they weren’t. You learn from these experiences. And in fact, one of the girls went to join another girl band that was very successful.”
With all the hits the band has at their disposal, Andy won’t pick a favourite.
“I can’t say that I dislike any of them, if I did we wouldn’t play them. However, you do get a vibe about certain songs. For instance, we get a big audience response for Love Is Like Oxygen.”
And there may be some new material performed.
“Our new album ‘Full Circle’ is almost ready; we hope it’ll be out in March or April next year. We don’t want to give too much away about it, but we might play the latest single Changes and maybe Don’t Bring Me Water and possible just a couple of others. Playing new material before it’s released doesn’t always work.”
And things are already planned for 2024, as Andy tells me.
“There may be some gigs in March, in fact we’re still picking up shows that were cancelled due to the pandemic. I’m told that some shows are sold out and nobody has asked for their money back!”
Sweet’s ‘Full Circle Tour comes to The Picturedrome, Holmfirth on Friday December 8.