The Searchers: Sunday, May 26, 2013 at Tewkesbury Roses Theatre
PUBLISHED: 17:56 10 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:57 10 May 2013
HENRY MURPHY 2011
It’s the 50th Anniversary of The Searchers first no 1 single ‘Sweets for my Sweet’
When you think of The Searchers you think of the distinctive jangling sound of the twelve string guitar and the rich harmonies embellishing their immaculate vocals which have without doubt assured The Searchers of a lasting place the history of popular music throughout the world.
Last year signified their 50th year in the pop music industry, a most important milestone indeed. Many of their contemporaries simply disbanded when their star faded only to reunite once the nostalgia boom kicked in with the onset of the eighties. Not so The Searchers. There were changes of course but the continuity was unbroken.
From 1962 to now is a very long time and for a band to remain in existence for that number of years, let alone remain a potent force and influence, is rare. Of necessity the personnel altered over the years but John McNally, the founding member way back in the days of skiffle and the embryonic stirrings of rock and roll, and Frank Allen, bass man since the middle of 1964, have faithfully preserved and, dare we say it, enhanced their treasured reputation and image to the present day.
Sweets For My Sweet, with Tony Jackson singing the lead vocals, shot to number one in the summer of 1963, quickly followed by Sugar & Spice and Needles & Pins. By the third hit the vocals had been taken over by Pender and Curtis causing dissension in their ranks. Tony, who also provided the vocal on their biggest US success Love Potion Number Nine, was not happy. The hits continued: Don’t Throw Your Love Away and Someday We’re Gonna Love Again.
Today’s line-up of The Searchers consists of John McNally (6-string guitar, 12-string guitar and vocals) and Frank Allen, bass guitar (front man and vocals) from those glorious days of massive chart hits and screaming teenage fans and is completed by Spencer James (guitar synthesiser and lead vocals) who was recruited in 1985 and Scott Ottaway (on drums), the current ‘new lad’ having joined them in 2010.
The Roses Theatre, Sun Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5NX, tel: 01684 295074, www.rosestheatre.org