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The Searchers coming to New Brighton

The Searchers at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, September 23rd, 2015

I was invited to Interview Frank Allen, bass guitarist for The Searchers, a band that is still on the road, and touring after fifty years. Formed as a skiffle band, back in the day, 1959, to be precise, there is only one original ‘Searcher’, John McNally, still in the line-up, but the sound remains authentic.

As Frank Allen recollects, back in the late fifties, all the home-grown Liverpool bands were influenced by skiffle and by Lonnie Donegan, and that includes the Quarrymen (before they became the Beatles), Gerry and the Pacemakers, Remo Four, and many more talented musicians from that era.

I was a child of the Sixties, and music played a seminal part in my life, growing up in a city buzzing with great live music. My memories of some of The Searchers hits are vivid: ‘Sugar and Spice, Needles and Pins and Sweets for my Sweet’ . and poignantly: ‘ When you Walk in the Room’.

It was a total pleasure to talk to someone who is impressively knowledgeable about music and literature: Frank has written a biography of the band: ‘Travelling Man’ and his autobiography ‘The Searchers and Me’ is available in hard-back. The Searchers have stayed faithful to their rock’n’roll roots, and old fans will hear faithful renditions of golden oldies, mixed with one or two newer numbers. They are always in demand, and the band loves to tour, and welcome new fans.

The line-up now is: Scott Ottoway on drums, Frank Allen on bass guitar, Spencer James, vocals and guitar, and of course John McNally, the one and only original member.

It’s true that music is a defining force, and I loved the music scene in Liverpool in the Sixties, and The Searchers were, very much, part of those heady days. Quite excited to be going to see them live again.
Floral Pavilion Box Office: 0151 666 0000:

By Jean Hill

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