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Review: The Searchers at The Floral Pavilion

I HAVE  some history with The Searchers. I grew up in Liverpool, when there were live bands playing on every corner (well in every pub and club) and there was a pub on every corner back in the day. The Searchers know their audience, and the audience know what they’re coming to hear and see. I remembered them as being a great band, but music has evolved, Bob Dylan reinterprets and reinvents constantly, but having interviewed one of The Searchers, Frank Allen, I discovered they still played old material in its original form. I took someone along, who was much too young to remember the glory days of rock ‘n’ roll and she was bowled over.

They were amazing. The set was a history of rock ’n’ roll from Presley, to Buddy Holly, to Roy Orbison, to the Beatles, not forgetting Gerry and The Pacemakers; and interspersed with some unexpected ballads like The Rose. I loved it, and the audience was dancing in the aisles. Brilliant performances, and they’ve been on the road: from Australia to Vegas to New York to Munich, to New Brighton for over 50 years. And given the choice between playing warm and welcoming New Brighton or Vegas, which is challenging…they’d choose Vegas every time (trust they were joking). They’ve played with the best and the rest. Their voices are better than ever, and they rock as a band. Awesome. 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. Judging by my companion’s reaction, they can still attract a new younger audience alongside the old(er) faithful.

To find out what’s on this season: Floral Pavilion Box Office: 0151 6660000:

Review by Jean Hill


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