By the early 1960s, The Beatles had turned the world on to British pop music. Many of the most other successful U.K acts of the era, like The Beatles, hailed from the area around Liverpool, a phenomenon that came to be known by the name of Liverpool’s river, Mersey Beat.
Liverpool was a major port in those days, and music moved through it every bit as much as all the more mundane imports and exports. Not surprisingly, Liverpool embraced the American music brought into port by ship crews: folk, black music, all kinds of sounds not previously heard in the U.K. The skiffle sound got going, out of which came The Beatles and the other Mersey bands, including The Searchers.
The Searchers go back to a 1957 skiffle band, and became The Searchers in 1962. They’re marking their 50th anniversary with an Australian tour that brings them to the Cairns Civic Theatre on February 23rd.
Frank Allen has been playing bass with the Searchers since 1964 — and he’s looking forward to seeing Australia again. He makes no bones about The Searchers these days being a “nostalgia” act, but business is good — they’re one of the world’s busiest bands.
Listen to my interview with Frank Allen.