The Searchers can’t believe how quickly time has flown by.
CONCERT: In the modern and ever-changing world, it is hard to imagine sticking with one career path for a lifetime.
But when you get to travel the world creating music that changed the course of history, there’s a bit more incentive to stick with it.
It has been 50 years since British group The Searchers first set foot in Australia and even longer since the band first came together, setting the wheels in motion for iconic songs like Sweets for My Sweet and Needles and Pins.
The Searchers discovered the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre when they came to the city a couple of years ago, but before that it was the Bunbury Motel in the late 1970’s that set the scene.
Band frontman Frank Allen spoke to entertainment ahead of the band’s return to Bunbury in January.
The current line-up includes John McNally, Frank Allen, Spencer James and Scott Ottaway, the newest recruit having joined them in 2010.
“We had a great time last time we came to Bunbury, we only found the entertainment centre a couple of years ago, it was packed and such a fun time,” Allen said.
“We are touring right across Australia, we have had to extend our touring schedule because we keep finding new places to go and the interest is there.”
While it has been an impressive half century since the first Australian tour, Allen said The Searchers had been a professional outfit for longer.
“I’ve been a Searcher for more than 52 years – it has absolutely flown by, I can’t believe it has been that long,” he said.
WATCH: The Searchersperforming Needles and Pins in 1964.
“The secret is to just keep that pace up and don’t stop – if we took three months off we would lose our impetus, instead we come to expect that we do 200 dates a year and you get used to it.”
The longevity has created a “pretty well tuned machine” which doesn’t require sound checks or rehearsals from the band members, unless there is something new in the mix.
Looking back over the years, there were plenty of highs but Allen said the mid-1960s were a tough time when the “hits stopped and we were no longer flavour of the month.”
“We transferred into the cabaret market and would play two clubs a night, it was hard work but looking back it was the best education for us,” he said.
“We learnt the finer points of stagecraft and playing to an adult audience, how to talk to the crowd, light and shade, it has been an important element of our shows for the last three decades.”
The band’s sound has influenced some of the most important artists of our generation, including Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Marshall Crenshaw and so many others.
And they show no signs of slowing down, with Allen vowing that “as long as we have our health and as long as the people keep coming” The Searchers’ legacy will continue.
The Searchers will take the stage at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Friday, January 30 from 8pm.
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