FIFTY years of non-stop touring and still no sign of applying the brakes, there can’t be too many new venues for The Searchers to find.
But The Grand, Clitheroe, is one that the group is looking forward to performing at for the first time a week on Saturday (December 13th) and a limited number of tickets remain to see them.
The Searchers’ origins can be traced back to 1959; originally founded as a skiffle group by John McNally and Mike Pender, the band took their name from the classic 1956 John Ford western.
McNally is now the eldest member at 73, but none of the members – Frank Allen, Spencer James and Scott Ottaway make up the quartet – are showing any signs of flagging.
Frank Allen commented: “I don’t think we have the secret of eternal youth, but we do our best. The best way to stay young is to think young and to enjoy what you do. We are fortunate to be in a profession that we love. Retirement will be an option at some point, but not in the near future.
“We enjoy it too much and next year’s date sheet is almost full already!”
The Searchers remain in demand all over the globe and the annual tour of Australia in February / March 2015 will see them play 25 shows in five weeks.
Undertaking an annual schedule of between 150 and 200 concerts, there are few bands that can match The Searchers for application. With a valuable stock of more than a dozen chart entries and multiple much-loved album tracks, they are the elder statesmen of Britpop.
Their influence is cited by numerous contemporary stars; Bruce Springsteen regular covers “When You Walk In The Room”, while Tom Petty, The Ramones and Paul Carrick either covered Searchers hits or expressed admiration for those rich harmonies and iconic sounds of the jangling 12-string guitar.
Despite the inevitable personnel changes that a 50-year band career can bring, the constant in The Searchers has always been John McNally, who founded that little skiffle outfit that first became Johnny Sandon and The Searchers and eventually The Searchers in the summer of ’62.
The Searchers play at The Grand on Saturday, December 13th, seated, 7 pm doors, 7-45 pm stage (£20 advance ticket, phone 01200 421599 or visit www.thegrandvenue.co.uk to book).
l The Grand Choir Christmas Carol Concert takes place on Monday December 15th, doors pm, stage time 7-30 pm, with tickets priced £7.50 / £5 concessions (including mince pies and mulled wine).
l Lunchtime Live returns next week (December 12th) with a performance from Djangologie. This session is supported by Jazz North.