THEY created a ballroom blitz in the 70s with eight UK top five hits and were an icon of the glam rock scene.

But now, as one of the country's longest running bands celebrating their 50th anniversary, The Sweet actually have their biggest following overseas.

Andy Scott, who has been in the band since 1970, said: "Don’t get me started on Brexit but the reaction in Europe has always been a little more straight off the bat than it has been in the UK in the long run.

"We had our little moment in the UK in the early 70s period then we had a couple of sporadic revivals.

"In fact in every decade – whenever they release the greatest hits – it always goes in the charts but we’re almost invisible to the big promoters over here.

"The people who put you on at the arenas which is the kind of place we play in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia."

Not that Andy is complaining because instead he is hell raising at intimate venues and he is particularly looking forward to the Parr Hall show as he played his first gig with The Sweet in Warrington.

The 69-year-old added: "I don’t mind because club tours are fantastic – a thousand people jumping up in small places is unbelievable.

"It’s great to come back to Warrington because that is where I started with The Sweet.

"We used to play the old Lion Hotel and then when we started to get somewhere, we played the Parr Hall so it’s like 50 years later here we are back."

The Sweet, who were one of Axl Rose's biggest influences when he was growing up, are generally associated with glam rock because they made their breakthrough in the early 70s during that era and were known for their androgynous looks.

But Andy argued that the band's sound continued to change – even during their heyday.

He said: "I find it difficult to stick myself and the band purely to glam rock. I love Noddy Holder’s description.

"He said all that bands like us did was take the pop rock that was coming out in the late 60s, go in the dressing up box and put a bit more identity into it.

"We’ve had a morphing career. We started off in the late 60s having very commercial pop songs and had one of the earlier ones struck I’m not sure whether The Sweet would have had the kind of career that it ended up with.

"Those early hits are what you might consider nursery rhyme, child-like songs but they sold tonnes of records.

"Then we got to early 1972 and I remember having a long discussion with the songwriters and the producer about the need for a change."

That change came thick and fast thanks to one chaotic gig.

Andy added: "One of the songwriters Mike Chapman got in the car with us and came to Glasgow for a gig and what he saw surprised and shocked him.

"There was a ballroom of about 1,000 people all crammed in, jumping up and down and grabbing the band so hard that Brian (the former frontman who died in 1997) and I ended up in the audience body surfing.

"Mike openly admits the ideas for Blockbuster, Ballroom Blitz and Hellraiser all came from that one show.

"Things were starting to change and without that and I think we might have disappeared into the mist."

As far as their outrageous outfits go, you have Marc Bolan to blame for that.

Andy said: "We were at an awards ceremony in late ’71 and he arrived in a sparkly jacket with a little bit of fairy dust under his eyes.

"He was doing his usual slightly haughty look and I remember cornering him and saying: ‘Where has all this lot come from?’ The last time I saw him he was sat on a big cushion with an acoustic guitar in the late 60s.

"We’d all been doing the second-hand shops in King’s Road but he said: 'Go to Alkasura'.

"He sent us to this specific shop where in the basement they had four ex art college designers.

"We went down there and for the first TV thing we did for Little Willy we ended up wearing Alkasura sparkly jackets and satin trousers.

"All of a sudden the reins were off. Two of the designers broke out on their own and we went with them and they’re the ones who started to make silver leather suits and it all changed from there. The band has never been a tribute to itself though – so you won’t see us in the kind of clothes we used to wear in that period."

In recent years, The Sweet's music has also been given the Hollywood treatment with tracks appearing on trailers for the likes of Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

Andy, who supported Jimi Hendrix with his former band The Silverstones, added: "Young people want their own music and if your dad says ‘listen to The Sweet’ you might not get there but if you manage to discover it by going to see Guardians of the Galaxy or Suicide Squad or Wayne’s World then it’s a different thing.

"I remember sitting in the cinema about to watch Star Wars with my son and all of a sudden Fox on the Run comes on. It bursts open and it’s Guardians of the Galaxy. My son turns to me and said: ‘This is your moment, this could be your pension fund’ because it’s one of the ones I wrote.

"A minute later the trailer is finished and I’m gobsmacked. It has been a very welcome surprise in the latter part of my life. I’m so glad that the people who put these films together still have Sweet in mind."

The Sweet bring their Blockbuster Christmas Show to Parr Hall on Friday, December 21. Visit