The Searchers call it a day after 50 years with one last visit to the Fylde coast

After decades of almost non-stop touring, The Searchers have embarked on their farewell tour.

By Martin Hutchinson
Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 12:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 12:38 pm
The Searchers
The Searchers

Coming to end in March, it will see the Merseybeat group perform on the Fylde coast one last time before saying goodbye to the stage.

The Searchers, who had hits like ‘Sweets For My Sweet’, ‘Don’t Throw Your Love Away’ and ‘Needles And Pins’, still includes founder member John McNally and is fronted by Frank Allen, who joined the band in 1964 after leaving Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers.

For the group though, after touring almost continually since 1962, this is their farewell tour, as bassist and frontman Frank Allen explains.

He said: “Yes, I’m afraid it’s been instigated by me. I was getting fed up of all the travelling.

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    “The miles of motorway, the traffic, the hold-ups and the roadworks.

    “Don’t get me wrong, the two hours on stage are fantastic and we all really enjoy playing live.

    “It’s just the getting there and getting home again afterwards.

    “It’s OK when you’re in your twenties, but we are of a certain age. Both John and I are in our seventies, although we don’t feel that old.”

    Frank isn’t sure what will happen after they hang up their guitars.

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    “No, I don’t know what we’ll be doing,” he said.

    “We are stopping touring, but may still do the odd show here and there.”

    But he and the rest of the band are looking forward to the tour.

    He said: “John is now OK after his health scare last year so we are all absolutely fine.

    Describing the 60s as the, “first radical change in music”, he said audiences are still keen to come out and hear groups from that era play.

    “It’s because they’re reliving their youth,” Frank said.

    “Most acts turn into nostalgia acts eventually – even bands like The Rolling Stones. People want to hear the old hits.”

    “I think that we have a sound that appeals to all ages and we made some extremely good records,”

    “Plus, we put a lot of thought into our shows.

    “The order of songs is carefully worked out and we add a bit of information and humour.”

    The show lasts around two hours and, in between the songs, Frank and John will tell tales of their travels – as well as the inevitable banter between two friends who have been together on stage for 55 years.

    Frank added: “We’re very much looking forward to it. The shows are great fun.”

    The Searchers will perform at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion, on March 23 from 7.30pm.