As usual our recent trip to Australia was brilliant. It was an 8-day Blitz! We left Heathrow late on Sunday 13th March for Perth, via Singapore, arriving in the early hours of Tuesday 15th [where did the 14th go?]. We were met by our rather non-sartorial/casually dressed promoter, Les who after the usual pleasantries, proceeded to give us an unscheduled tour of the parking area before launching us on to the highway into town. We had turned left on to the plane so we were generally not feeling the effects of jetlag we had experienced previously and anyway we had 2 days before the first show.
17th March – Regal Theatre, Perth
Our TM was Mike Power who took care of our personal requirements whilst appearing with an acoustic guitar as our support act, banging out a plethora of great rock songs to genuine applause [killed two birds with one stone - genius]. We had not played in Perth for 15 years so when we hit the stage I should not have been surprised by the reaction of the crowd – it was amazing and never let up the whole 90 minutes. After the show an autograph session/meet&greet was hastily arranged in the foyer and what should have been a quick affair turned into us shaking hands with almost the whole audience! Why was I surprised?
18th March – Bunbury Entertainment Centre
Drive an hour or so south of Perth towards one my favourite Wineries, Leeuwins Estates, and you will find Bunbury. Sweet played here in the 80s and the 90s on our previous and aptly named Bar-Room Blitz Tours. The venue is packed and was virtually a re-run of last night, meet&greet et al. Promoter Les had a huge grin on his face and I can confirm that we will return.
20th March – Clipsal 500, Adelaide Racetrack
A crack of dawn start for the band and an even earlier one for the crew – Soundcheck! That done, back to bed for a couple of hours, watching the race on TV [I did have a VIP Pass for the race itself, thanks Amanda, but decided it was more important to get some rest and it had started to rain on and off, not a good combination]. It had begun to rain again when we arrived at the Backstage area making things under the tented area a little messy but no matter the show must go on. Rogue’s Gallery were on stage directly before us and they were great! Featuring John [Swanee] Swan on vocals, he is Jimmy Barnes’ brother, we had done shows with him previously in Oz, and the Brewster Brothers [Rick and John] from the Angels [Sweet recorded "Am I ever gonna see your face again" in the 90s, written by these guys!]. Loads of hugging and photos afterwards.
When we took to the stage we took the place by storm. It stopped raining during the opening chords of “Hellraiser” – it was almost biblical! A shortened set to accommodate but nevertheless every song we played was a major hit [including "Peppermint Twist"] and the crowd, the organisers, other bands and ourselves were pretty pleased with the performance and it was recorded for posterity. As if by other worldly control the heavens opened again during the outro of “Blitz” – cue X-files theme.
The Doobie Brothers are an impressive band and a hard act to follow, which is why Pete Lincoln and I spent a fair amount of their set on the side of the stage. I heard the first Doobies album in the mid 70s and was a fan immediately, having earlier blurted those words to Pat Simmonds imagine my surprise when he invited me to join them on stage for the encore, “Listen to the music”, I grabbed Pete and before we knew it there we were singing harmonies with the Doobie Brothers in front of a rather large crowd and it had stopped raining! Pat inferred that I could have a job singing with the band, such a gentleman as was proved with the email I received sitting in the Qantas lounge in Adelaide airport, waiting for the flight home.
March was one those months, from Germany to Poland to Australia and back to Switzerland! Our sleeping patterns seem back to normal and we now have some down time through Easter before a couple of Rock Shows with our old mates “Heep”. I must say I am looking forward to that.
A big thanks to those of you who still seem concerned for my health, I am feeling good and glad to be back on stage but your concern is much appreciated.