The Searchers interview: '60s band reflect on nearly 70 years as a band ahead of UK tour

14 March 2024, 11:56

The Searchers talk to Gold
The Searchers talk to Gold. Picture: Gold/Global/Getty

By Tom Eames

The Searchers are the longest-running band in pop history, with nearly 70 years on the road.

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The legendary band who scored several massive hits in the 1960s are still performing today, and will embark on yet another UK tour this April.

Founded as a skiffle group in Liverpool in 1957 by John McNally, the band later recruited Mike Pender, Frank Allen, Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis as their most famous members at the height of their fame.

Frank and John are still performing as The Searchers today, alongside Spencer James and Richie Burns, and will be heading out on their Thank You tour from April to June.

Gold's David Andrews caught up with Frank and John to look back at their incredible career, including performing alongside The Beatles at the Cavern Club, and scoring massive hits with songs like 'Sweets for My Sweet' and 'Needles and Pins'.

The Searchers interview: '60s band reflect on nearly 70 years as a band ahead of UK tour

In 2018, The Searchers announced that the band would be retiring, and they ended their farewell tour in March 2019. However, the group have since gone on to put on two more farewell tours.

Speaking about their decision, Frank said: "We actually decided to retire in 2019. We've been touring consistently for over 60 years and the fun was beginning to go out of it, so we had the rest, then COVID hit, so we stopped at the right time because there was a lot of things to organise to halt the whole process and you couldn't do anything anyway, so that was great.

"But then we got the pressure to maybe do one last tour to thank the people and we said, 'okay, we'll do that'. And that was a 48 day tour, which is just a walk in the park for us because we did 200 shows every year and that was just normal.

The Searchers "Needles And Pins" on The Ed Sullivan Show

"But it turned out to be incredible fun. I think it shocked all of us at how well we got on and what fun the whole thing was. And it was a huge success.

"And the last night in Liverpool at the Philharmonic was epic. I don't think there's any other way to describe it was the most, probably most memorable concert in our career.

"That was supposed to be it, end in Liverpool. Now we've gone on to this other thing. So we've done our ending in Liverpool, but now we've still gone on. Maybe we should have stopped there, but there were places we didn't do.

"Scotland went on about, 'you don't come up to Scotland'. So anyway, we're doing it and we're going to have fun and it's going to be a huge success."

Tickets for The Searchers' Thank You tour are on sale from here.

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