“A man in his sixties should not be seen in tight silver leather and platform boots,” said one-time glam rock icon, Andy Scott.
Ditching the glitter, he heeded the words of his band Sweet’s anthem to youth, Teenage Rampage, which urged listeners to: “Recognise your age.”
But Andy’s not ready for shapeless cardigans and carpet slippers just yet. He said: “We have modified our look. Nowadays we wear T-shirts and absolutely no make-up. Once in a while we might put on a leather jacket - we look a bit like a rock band.”
The rock image might come as a shock for those who can remember Sweet as the purveyors of infuriatingly catchy pop hits such as Little Willy and Blockbuster - but anyone listening to the B-sides of their singles would have recognised a harder-edged band screaming to break out of the commercial bubble.
Forty years on Andy is the only original member still carrying the Sweet name in the UK. Founder bassist Steve Priest emigrated to America where he has his own band playing Sweet hits.
The voice of the original Sweet, lead singer Brian Connolly died in 1997 from kidney failure after a battle with the booze, and drummer Mick Tucker lost his life to leukaemika five years later.
“Rock and roll has its casualties,” said Andy.
Departures and lulls in the business haven’t put Andy off from keeping the Sweet flame burning bright for four decades. He said: “We felt back in the Seventies that if a band had ten years, then you had done rather well because a lot of bands didn’t survive that long.”
Sweet are touring the UK with Slade and hit Buxton Opera House on Tuesday, November 26, and Sheffield City Hall the following night.
Small venues in England are a far cry from the big halls in European countries such as Germany where Sweet have their biggest fan base. Andy said: “Touring in England is not financially rewarding - you have got to really want to do it. In Europe you play places where the whole town turns out to see you. You have fans in their 50s, edging 60, who bring their kids along to see you.”
Weighing up the difference between being a musician nowadays compared to 40 years ago, Andy said: “I now have more guitars. I have over 50, some of them are collectables.”