Final tour brings The Searchers to Diss
PUBLISHED: 11:35 07 January 2019
The Searchers came to prominence when Merseybeat hit the charts in the early 1960s. Along with Gerry And The Pacemakers and – of course, most famously – The Beatles, they made British pop a global phenomenon.
The band became international stars after chart hits Sweets For My Sweet and Needles and Pins. Their total record sales exceeded a whopping 50 million.
Their recording career had its ups and downs, but the band, most recently featuring Frank Allen, John McNally, Spencer James and Scott Ottaway, have always continued to tour.
Until now that is. After entertaining audiences of all ages for more than 50 years they have decided to retire. Their Farewell Concert arrives in Diss for a sold out show at the Corn Hall this week.
Bassist and frontman Frank Allen explains: “Yes, I’m afraid it’s been instigated by me. I was getting fed up of all the travelling. 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.”
The farewell show will as you would expect include classic hits including Sweets for My Sweet, Needles and Pins as well as Don’t Throw Your Love Away, Sugar and Spice and When You Walk in the Room, but will also include many album tracks and well-known favourites, as well as anecdotes and reminiscences of their remarkable career.
“We put a lot of thought into our shows,” said Frank. “The order of songs is carefully worked out and we add a bit of information and humour.”
There is no doubt that the swinging 60s was one of the most imaginative periods of music creativity and it continues to hold a grip on the public imagination, both for those who lived through it and younger fans enamoured wit the music.
“The sixties got a lot of attention. It was the first radical change in music. I’m afraid the seventies were not taken as seriously,” said Frank.
The final tour has been preceded by a new double album, The Searchers - The Farewell Album – The Greatest Hits and More, a compilation of hits, album tracks and B-sides from the 60s, plus a few more recent recordings.
“It is going to be a very nostalgic time for all of us and of course it promises to be a mixture of laughter and tears in equal measures,” said Frank of the tour. “But most of all it will be a wonderful way for all of us to say a proper goodbye.”
• The Searchers: Farewell Tour is at Diss Corn Hall on January 11, returns only, 01379 652241, disscornhall.co.uk