Legendary rock band The Sweet shot to the top of the charts in the 1970s with such hits as Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run,Love is Like Oxygen, Little Willy, Hellraiser, Teenage Rampage, Blockbuster and Action.
Formed in the U.K. in 1968, the original lineup featured vocalist Brian Connolly, bassist/vocalist Steve Priest, drummer Mick Tucker and guitarist Frank Torpey (later replaced by Mick Stewart and, subsequently, by Andy Scott). In 1973, the band produced their first number one hit, Blockbuster, which went on to achieve platinum status. Sweet toured extensively and continued to chart with Chinn and Chapman compositions.
In January 2008, Steve Priest assembled his own version of The Sweet in Los Angeles, California. He enlisted fellow Brit Stuart Smith, an old friend and a classically-trained former axeman for the bands Sidewinder and Heaven & Earth, on guitar. L.A. native Richie Onori, Smith’s bandmate in Heaven & Earth, was brought in on drums. The keyboard spot was manned by ex-Crow and World Classic Rockers alumni Stevie Stewart.
After an initial appearance on L.A. rock station 95.5 KLOS’s popular Mark & Brian radio program, the “Are You Ready Steve?” tour kicked off at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood in June, 2008. The band spent the summer playing festivals and gigs throughout the U.S. and Canada, including, among others: Moondance Jam in Walker, MN; headlining at the Rock ‘n’ Resort Festival in N. Lawrence, OH; London, Ontario’s Rock The Park; another headlining gig at Peterborough’s Festival of Lights; the Common Ground Festival in Lansing, MI; and a benefit concert for victims of California’s wildfires at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA.
In January 2009, The Sweet presented at the industry’s Pollstar Awards cocertand played a short set at the Nokia Theater, marking the first time in the ceremony’s history that a band performed at the show. In addition to local gigs at the House of Blues on L.A.’s Sunset Strip and Universal’s Citywalk, 2009 saw the band return to Canada for sold-out shows at the Mae Wilson Theater and Casino Regina, as well as the Nakusp Music Festival and Rockin’ the Fields in Minnedosa, Manitoba. U.S. festivals included Minnesota’s Halfway Jam, Rockin’ the Rivers in Montana (with Pat Travers and Peter Frampton), and two late-summer shows at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.