Germany’s Sweet Electric have been the main tour support for Kickin Valentina’s Spring Jaunt across three corners of the UK. Normally at this point, I would try and describe an artist, but I think I will leave that for you to make your own minds up as you read on.
The Tivoli, Buckley – 2 June 2023
Words: Sophie James
Photography: Jason Samuels
Not having experienced them previously, I must admit that I had heard mixed reports, but one can only approach each new artist with an open mind, devoid of any accurate or perceived misconceptions.
What I witnessed was hugely enjoyable, high-energy rock ‘n’ roll with bangin’ tunes, all slickly delivered with bundles of charisma and served with a tongue very firmly in cheek.
Opener Heir To The Throne, built gradually from a metronomic snare, then ascending feedback before the riff kicks in and the Gold Lamé apparition that is Brad hits the stage like a whirlwind. It has to be said that one’s eyes did take a few moments to readjust.
The vocal was delivered at such a chaotic pace that none but the most orally dexterous would contemplate singing along. Thank heavens for some Whooah-Ohhs in the chorus for those who wished to do so. The energy was infectious, with heads already nodding along to the ’80s Metal sound.
Hurtling headlong into Leading The Blin’, we were introduced to another ‘vital’ piece of instrumentation in the form of some wildly gyrating cowbell. You’re quoting that line now, aren’t you?
The sound was a perfect fusion of GnR and AC/DC. This time the visual excess almost transported you back to the ’80s as it was gloriously overblown and utterly delightful.
“Whoa, this Monster’s arising, Whoa.” Ooooer Missus, things eased back musically with Monster if not necessarily lyrically. If one must use the AC/DC Scale as a comparator, then think of the pace as a tweaked Nervous Shakedown, but to my lugs, it also reminded me of Jackyl. The awesome solo from Mike was just what you may have expected to hear from a Gibson SG playing boogiefied Metal – or is it the other way around?
Livin’ It Up had a funktastic finger-slapping bass intro from Jonas that immediately catapulted you into RHCP territory. This one sure got the ladies moving. Post second chorus, the song properly detonated, like a rocket’s Secondary Stage ignition.
All the heads were down and nodding as Mike once again soared. Later, complementing the intro, Jonas got in on the act with his own solo spotlighted. With all this soloing, cue some serious selfie action from Brad.
Holy Water saw the firing of a hysterically small confetti gun. Kiss, this wasn’t. Party Rock Anthem had a superheavy, superfunked-up riff that lived up to its title. Think a gonzo version of Rockin’ In The Free World, complete with manic but nimble footwork from Brad that was greatly appreciated by the audience.
“Let’s keep this going. This one is a drinking song.” Indulge me for a few moments. If AC/DC, Status Quo and Chas and Dave ever formed a supergroup, I imagine it would sound something like Somewhere In The Middle. That combination may indeed be enough to drive you to drink. The intro was most reminiscent of the heads-down Frantic Four.
“We are from Germany, but I don’t sound German. That’s because I’m Aussie. The lesson is, don’t drink a lot, then go on Tinder, or you’ll end up in weird countries. Come over and have a drink with us afterwards, and we’ll add you on Tinder.”
Hard Times was like the Doctor had prescribed a double dose of Acca Dacca to purge any remaining blues. Complete with more cowbell, much more cowbell, it certainly put the fun into motherfunking and even saw Brad go walkabout punter side, complete with cowbell, of course.
Killa Katherina, with all its woahhhhs, brought the chaos to a close and judging by the silly smiles in the crowd, it was a job well done.
If this evening’s performance is anything to go by, then one hopes that they have bottled this energy and sound on their forthcoming album.
John Mellencamp once wrote, “This is serious business, sex and violence and rock and roll.” While making music most definitely is, having fun and entertainment are the other essential component parts of that triangle.
Sweet Electric are a tight, thoroughly entertaining unit that effortlessly combines all three and long may they continue to do so.