RESPLENDENT in their white suits and distinctive caps, The Rubettes burst onto the scene in 1974 with the memorable Sugar Baby Love, which topped the charts for three weeks after entering the charts at number two.

The distinctive falsetto refrain was instantly recognisable, and the band continued to have hit after hit with songs like Tonight, Juke Box Jive, Foe-Dee-O-Dee, You’re The Reason Why and I Can Do It.

The band eventually split, but was lured back onto the circuit by a French promoter in the 90s and have been active ever since.

Of the quartet, three of the band: singer/guitarist Alan Williams, bassist Mick Clarke and drummer John Richardson, are still in the line-up and are joined by their latest recruit Steve Innes Etherington on keyboards.

And for the first time in 40 years, they are undertaking a headline tour of the UK. The band toured Britain recently as part of the Glitz, Blitz and 70s Hitz Tour with Sweet and Mud 2.

Of course, in the bands’ career, there have been a few highlights says Alan Williams: “Well, there’s the obvious one of being Number One in the charts, but one thing stands out from later on. I’d been talking to Paul McCartney while we were supporting Wings in 1977. At the time he’d just bought his property on Mull and was thinking of building an airstrip there.

“He was asking for my thoughts as I was then, and still am, a pilot. He then told me about something that happened to him in France.”

“He was being interviewed by a French reporter and was asked if he knew of The Rubettes. He said ‘yes’ and for the next 20 minutes they talked about us.”

The Rubettes play the Regent Centre on September 30.