The Rubettes bounce back

The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams at Chesterfield's Winding Wheel on May 14.
The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams at Chesterfield's Winding Wheel on May 14.

Resplendent in their white suits and distinctive caps, The Rubettes exploded onto the scene in 1974 with the memorable Sugar Baby Love, which topped the charts for three weeks.

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.

After nine top 40 successes, a number of critically acclaimed albums and the membership decreasing from a sextet to a quartet, the band disappeared in 1983.

A decade later, The Rubettes were lured back onto the live circuit by a French promoter 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 Steve Innes Etherington on keyboards.

And for the first time in 40 years, they are undertaking a headline tour of the UK which rolls into Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel on May 14.

The band toured Britain earlier this year as part of the Glitz, Blitz and 70s Hitz Tour with Sweet and Mud 2, which went down a storm.

When asked why the band hasn’t headlined for so long, Alan Williams said: “We didn’t feel that we were popular enough up to now. We do the Glitz package tour every five years or so, but generally we don’t work too often in the UK and strangely we have always been a bigger name on the continent and especially France.

“After the UK tour, we are doing a 30-date headline tour in France and it usually sells out. Last year, we played the Olympia Theatre in Paris and sold out all 3000 seats, in the UK we’ll be playing five to six hundred seater theatres.”

Apparently, the demand for concerts from The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams (the band has to be called The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams for legal reasons) in Britain has grown.

Alan said: “There’s been a great reaction. At first we were only going to do about 15 dates, but it just grew.” The tour is in two legs, keeping the band busy this month and from September to November.