Veteran sixties rockers The Searchers will play Whitley Bay’s Playhouse on February 15th 2019 as part of their last ever UK tour.
The Liverpool band’s career has spanned an amazing 56 years, with the group counting their anniversaries from the day they decided to give up their day jobs and go to play alongside The Beatles in Hamburg’s legendary Star Club.
Bassist and vocalist Frank Allen said of that time, “It was a terrific club that not only featured groups from Liverpool and London, but brought over genuine American stars.”
“I was able to see people like Gene Vincent, The Everly Brothers, Bill Haley, Bo Diddly and so many others. It was a privilege to share the stage with such legends.”
During their long career, The Searcher’s work-rate has been incredible, with the group playing between 150 and 200 shows a year.
For their last tour, the band will head out as part of the Sixties Gold package, headlining over a group of their friends who just happen to be iconic sixties musicians in their own right.
The Searchers’ hits include such classics as Sweets for my Sweet, Sugar and Spice, Needles and Pins, Don’t Throw Your Love Away and What Have They Done to the Rain?
The group’s signature jangly 12-string guitar sound has had a profound influence on the development of rock music, influencing acts as diverse as Tom Petty, The Byrds, The Ramones, Bruce Springsteen, and The Sweet.
Frank Allen said, “Our sound set us apart from other bands and people like Petty, Springsteen and The Byrds loved it. You can hear our influence on many of their records.”
“Marky Ramone, the drummer with The Ramones, sat in on Needles and Pins in 2008 at the Cutting Room in New York. They had recorded that song on an album and were big fans.”
Over the years, The Searchers have entertained royalty – playing for the Queen and Princess Margaret – and headlined over Motown stars such as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and The Temptations in the States.
The band have also done stints in Las Vegas, toured Australia and New Zealand with the Rolling Stones, entertained British troops in the Falklands and Bosnia, and played to a whopping 75,000 people at Wembley Stadium supporting Cliff Richard.
Frank said, “It would have been frightening, but we were only on for two songs so it was all over so quickly. But it was an incredible experience. Cliff has been a great supporter and we’ve done a number of shows with him, including Millennium New Year’s Eve at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.”
The Searchers’ shows present a retrospective of their career, with the band playing not only their hits but also less well-known B sides and album tracks, and spicing things up with anecdotes of their many years in the music business and on the road.
Frank said, “My enthusiasm for travelling up and down motorways is rapidly diminishing, but my love of going on stage and entertaining still gives me the same buzz it always did.”
The Searchers play the Whitley Bay Playhouse on February 15th 2019 at 7.30 pm. Tickets start from £26.45. To book tickets, please go to https://www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk/events/.