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Sweet at Birmingham Town Hall

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Expect a Blockbuster night of rock
Glam Rock legends Sweet promise a hellraising performance at Birmingham Town Hall on December 2, 2021. The show is part of the band's Hellraiser UK tour, which celebrates 50 years of hits and is their first major outing since restrictions were eased due to the global pandemic.

Sweet, Andy Scott, Lee Small, Bruce Bisland, Paul Manzi, Steve Mann, Birmingham Town Hall, Hellraiser tour, Limehouse Lizzy, Everything
Sweet 2021 (l-r): Lee Small, Bruce Bisland, Paul Manzi, Andy Scott, Steve Mann


In the early 1970s Sweet were one of Britain's biggest bands, with a string of top 10 records including Blockbuster, Hellraiser, Ballroom Blitz and Teenage Rampage.

By 1975 the USA had discovered the band, with Fox on the Run hitting the number three spot in the Billboard 100. Another self-penned hit, Action, followed in 1976 firmly establishing Sweet in the US charts. Stateside rock titans Gene Simmons from Kiss and Nicky Sixx of Mötley Crüe have since admitted to being huge fans of the group.

Sweet, Andy Scott, Lee Small, Bruce Bisland, Paul Manzi, Steve Mann, Birmingham Town Hall, Hellraiser tour, Limehouse Lizzy, Everything
On stage: Sweet in concert (pic: Darren Griffiths)


Fifty years on from their first UK chart entry, Funny Funny, in January 1971, Sweet are still touring, although 72-year-old guitarist Andy Scott is the sole remaining member from their hitmaking days. Lead singer Brian Connolly passed away in 1997 and drummer Mick Tucker died in 2002. Bassist Steve Priest passed away in 2020. The 2021 line-up, alongside Andy, is Lee Small (bass, vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals), Paul Manzi (lead vocals), and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards).

On the face of it Sweet were primarily a singles band, but, with the landmark albums Desolation Boulevard (1975) and Give Us a Wink (1976), the band showed they had a much harder rocking side. The album Level Headed, released in 1978, brought with it another award-winning million-selling worldwide hit with Love is Like Oxygen, written by Andy Scott.

Sweet, Andy Scott, Lee Small, Bruce Bisland, Paul Manzi, Steve Mann, Birmingham Town Hall, Hellraiser tour, Limehouse Lizzy, Everything


For the new tour, the current line-up has reworked an old Sweet song, Everything. Originally featured on the 2002 album, Sweetlife, Everything has been updated for 2021.



Andy says: "During the rehearsals for the Hellraiser UK tour, we were trying out various songs from our back catalogue that could be added to the setlist. As soon as I heard Paul Manzi and Lee Small's vocals on Everything, I knew that we needed to get it down and record it as our new single. I think the new version is a far superior production. It's much closer to how I envisaged it when I co-wrote the song back in the day."

Sweet's 2021 UK tour dates (supported by Troy Redfern):

Nov 25: Chalk, Brighton;
Nov 26: 1865, Southampton;
Nov 27: Cheese & Grain, Frome;
Nov 28: Assembly Hall, Islington, London;
Dec 2: Town Hall, Birmingham;
Dec 3: The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury;
Dec 4: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill;
Dec 5: The Waterfront, Norwich;
Dec 8: Boiler Shop, Newcastle;
Dec 9: The Garage, Glasgow;
Dec 10: Queen's Hall, Edinburgh;
Dec 11: Picturedrome, Holmfirth;
Dec 17: University SU, Cardiff;
Dec 18: Academy, Manchester;
Dec 19: Rock City, Nottingham;
Dec 20: The Apex, Bury St Edmunds.


Read my review of Sweet's 2017 Genting Arena show here.

Sweet, Andy Scott, Lee Small, Bruce Bisland, Paul Manzi, Steve Mann, Birmingham Town Hall, Hellraiser tour, Limehouse Lizzy, Everything
Venue: Birmingham Town Hall
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Why? Sweet tour Britain 50 years after their first UK hit
When: December 2, 2021 (Birmingham Town Hall). Touring till December 20
Phone: 0121 289 6333
Where: Town Hall, Birmingham, and touring
Cost: £30.50
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