Home Music Music on Film & TV Sweet and Sour

Sweet and Sour

1 9 8 4 (Australia)
20 x 30 minute episodes

Sweet and Sour was like an Australian version of Rock Follies – but without the drugs, the sex or the swearing.

The series follows the fortunes of a rock band called The Takeaways, but theirs is not a rags-to-riches story.


Rather it is a gritty history of a band that does not achieve fame or fortune and is lucky to actually even get a record out. The band is led by Tracy Mann (pictured at right).

Against a backdrop of current social and economic conditions, band members attempt to find personal satisfaction and a degree of control over their lives through making music.

The series follows the band from their first informal jam session in an old boot factory to watching their first single* being pressed.

This innovative series from the ABC came from mixing the outputs of two TV Departments; Drama and Light Entertainment. Light Entertainment made a first pilot (directed by Grant Rule, Executive Producer of Countdown), which was unfortunately deemed to be unsatisfactory and the show was handed to the Drama department.

The subsequent soundtrack album went platinum and sold more than 70,000 copies.

The series aired every weeknight at 6:30 pm and featured guest appearances by Jon English and Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum.

Carol Howard
Tracy Mann
Martin Kabel
David Reyne
Christine Yates
Sandra Lillingston
George Poulopoulos
Arky Michael
Darrell Winters
Ric Herbert
Johnny Black
Robin Copp
Nick Poulopoulos
George Spartels
Shrug Yates
Martin Vaughan

*Single = What we had before CDs. It was black, flat, round, 7″ in diameter and made out of vinyl. You played it with a needle. No, honestly. ]