DUST down your platform shoes and flares and grow back in your sideburns

Seventies icons Showaddywaddy are Europe's most successful ever exponents of retro-inspired rock & roll and now as they celebrate 44 years in the business, the Leicester band will be appearing at Ayr's Gaiety Theatre this coming Saturday, April 1, at 7.30pm.

Some 23 hit singles were racked up by the band, including number one, Under The Moon of Love, When, You Got What It Takes, Three Steps To Heaven, penned by the late, great Eddie Cochran, as well as Hey Rock & Roll. Their record simply speaks for itself.

They feature original members, West Indian-born drummer Romeo Challenger and bass player Rod Deas, along with relative newcomers Paul Dixon, Rob Hewins, Dean Loach and Andy Pelos.

Showaddywaddy were formed in 1973 by the amalgamation of two groups, Choise and the Golden Hammers - the latter often known simply as The Hammers. This led to an eight-member band, with the unusual feature of having two vocalists, two drummers, two guitarists, and two bassists. They both played at the Fosse Way pub in Leicester and soon discovered shared musical tastes.

After playing together in jamming sessions, they joined together permanently and Showaddywaddy was born. The band's first professional gig was at the Dreamland Ballroom in Margate, Kent on 1 September 1973.

They appeared on the ATV series New Faces, and won one programme in the series in November 1973, and were runners-up in the "All Winners Final", which was broadcast in December, 1973. Their first single, Hey Rock and Roll was released in April 1974.

From Dancin' Party (1977), the band produced their own records with more cover versions including I Wonder Why (originally by Dion and the Belmonts), and Blue Moon, based on the Marcels' interpretation) and another Curtis Lee original Pretty Little Angel Eyes, co-written by Tommy Boyce. Their most recent chart single was Who Put the Bomp, a number 37 hit in 1982.

During their history, Showaddywaddy have made nearly 300 television appearances, including their own BBC-TV special, Showaddywaddyshow, broadcast between Christmas and New Year in 1980. The band also appeared in the 1975 film Three for All, where they performed "The Party" from their 1974 debut album.

In total they had 10 Top Ten singles and spent 209 weeks in the UK Singles Chart.

Despite the hits drying up over three decades ago, Showaddywaddy have continued to tour, and still do around 100 dates a year in the UK and Europe.

] In June 2014, Showaddywaddycompleted the Once In A Lifetime arena tour, with Bay City Rollers, David Essex, and The Osmonds.

The event is almost a sell-out but tickets, costing £18 - £23 (Premium: £23/£22; Standard: £21/ £20.00 Eco: £19/£18 are available from the Gaiety, Tel 012192-288235.