TE Archive

Home : Articles : 2006 : February : 15 : Searchers Find Success Still Sweet

Searchers Find Success Still Sweet

Searchers Find Success Still Sweet

Who: The Searchers
Where: Western Suburbs Leagues Club
When: Wednesday February 15, 2006

The Searchers were one of the biggest bands to emerge from Liverpool during the height of Beatlemania.

Now, more than 40 years after the band was formed by John McNally, The Searchers' popularity is on the rise again.

Since arriving in Australia last month, the band has been playing 800-strong shows each night.

McNally credits the internet with playing a key role in their revival.

``For a while, people didn't come to see the '60s stuff,'' McNally said.

``But it's all back online again now.

In England and Europe the '60s market is excellent. People have found all the bands again. It's amazing.'' The Searchers was formed in the late '50s as a skiffle group and included Mike Pender, Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis. Although all have since parted ways, the new line-up has remained relatively solid over the years.

McNally now performs alongside Frank Allen, who has been with the band since 1964, and Spencer James and Eddie Rothe. The Searchers spent the early stage of their career playing clubs in Liverpool before hitting the trail to Hamburg where they performed at the famous Star Club. Their first appearance there was in July '62 and they continued to play at the club for 128 days.

McNally said the only regret he holds from those early years is that none of the members had any real business sense.

``It was an absolutely unbelievable time back then, I just wish I'd been a little older so I could have enjoyed it more.

``I was 18 when it all started and it's a bit too much for a young lad, I think, not only because of the whole excitement of the thing but just the originality of it all.

``We didn't have the knowledge or the business sense to really make it count in the early days.

``The likes of the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and ourselves, none of us made any money 'til the late '60s, until we all realised we were all getting ripped off.

``But, you know, we enjoyed ourselves.'' Over the years The Searchers released a stack of hits with songs such as Sweets For My Sweet, Sugar fand Spice, Needles and Pins and Love Potion Number Nine. Since arriving in Australia, McNally has met fans who were in the audience when The Searchers toured with the Rolling Stones and Dell Shannon in the '60s.

``We played a show in Brisbane and there were loads of people there who'd come to see us when we did the Rolling Stones tour and the Dell Shannon tour.

``So, of course, they're bringing their kids along as well. Then there's lots of people we have picked up over the years as well, so it's right across the board now.'' McNally celebrates 42 years with the band this year.

The Searchers have solid bookings right up to August with concerts in Europe, the UK and the US.

``We enjoy it. I enjoy it. I think if you look at the lads from the '60s like Paul McCartney, Elton John and Eric Clapton, we all enjoy it. It's strange.

``I've always said if the health stays 100 per cent then we'll keep going as long as possible . . . and also if the audiences are coming, which they still are.'' The Searchers will play at West Leagues Club tonight. Tickets are on sale at the club.

Other articles featuring The Searchers

Up to Week View

Newcastle Music