So, to set the scene twenty-five years ago on a hot and sweaty July night at the old Mean Fiddler in Harlesden I witnessed one of my all-time favourite gigs, a young Mr Sweet absolutely nailing it on the back of ‘Altered Beast’ and ‘Girlfriend’. It’s been twenty-one years since we have last seen him, and I think that was also his last visit to these shores too. So to say we were looking forward to this is an understatement.
Like most of us and off the back of a seven date back to back tour of Spain, Sweet is nursing a cold. But you wouldn’t notice as his voice is a strong as ever.
Of course, the set leans heavily towards ‘Girlfriend’ and why not as its one of the greatest, not just power pop, but albums of my lifetime. Ably supported by guitarist Jason Victor, rhythm section of bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck, both of Velvet Crush, they provide the perfect accompaniment with great harmonies and the grooves without being too showy.
I was worried that tonight would be all about a nostalgia trip and while of course those memories came flooding back as we shouted back all of the words to the ‘Girlfriend’ songs the gig stood up on its own right with the new songs more than holding their own.
Highlights were obvious tracks from Girlfriend, the title track, ‘Evangeline’ and ‘Divine Intervention’. The only criticism was it was over too quickly, just a mere eighty minutes. Let’s hope that he doesn’t leave it another 21 years before he graces these shores again
It’s been superb this year enjoying some fine nineties guitar bands again such as The Posies and Buffalo Tom and Sweet tonight and long may they continue. Hopefully this will encourage younger bands that guitar-based music is not dead, and they can succeed like White Denim and Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever.
So, a great night down memory lane but Sweet still showing that he is as relevant today as he was twenty years ago.
Keep on power poppin’ y’all.