Slade and The Sweet at City Hall

Salisbury Journal: The Sweet The Sweet

GLAM rock is back!

The rafters of Salisbury City Hall will be rocking tomorow as two of the biggest groups of the 1970s join forces for a concert.

The Sweet have had 34 number one hits worldwide and Block Buster is still a tune that gets everyone up on the dance floor, while Slade were one of Europe’s biggest bands in the same era.

The groups have been on tour together since the end of October and will be finishing in style in Salisbury, which for one member of The Sweet, means he doesn’t have far to go home.

Guitarist Andy Scott, 64, who lives just outside Devizes, has been with the group almost from the start, joining the band in 1970, 18 months after it was formed when, he says “they were at a crossroads”.

“They didn’t have a guitar player but they had these great vocalists,” he explains. “I came in and the band pulled itself together, and found a couple of songwriters who had some great songs.”

He replaced former guitarist Mick Stewart shortly before the group really took off in the 1970s, coming to epitomise the androgynous, flamboyant style of the time.

Scott was born in Wrexham, Wales, and developed a love of music as a child.

His father was in the army but loved to entertain and never discouraged his son from pursuing a career in music. His parents and their friends would get together at weekends and start singing along to blues or the pop hits of the time.

"My brother and I would be in front of a mirror with tennis rackets as guitars,” he recalls. Scott started to play guitar properly when he was about 15 years old and joined various groups before being invited to join The Sweet.

“I have always maintained that if you do something well, then that is what you should do,” he says. “And this is better than a job.

“We still play how we play, whether there are 500 people in a club or 10,000 people at a festival.

We never do it half-heartedly.”

The two groups will be revisiting all the old hits in their sell-out show at the weekend and the guitarist says he has no plans to retire any time soon.

“I thought it would last about ten years, so to be here 40 years later is incredible,” he says. “If I got to the point where I was fed up with the old songs, then I wouldn’t do it anymore.”

For more information go to thesweet.com.

* The Salisbury show is sold out, but the groups will also be playing at The Lighthouse in Poole tonight. For tickets go to lighthousepoole.co.uk or calll 0844 4068666.

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