The Searchers call it a day after fifty years with farewell tour coming to Eastbourne

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No Caption ABCDE SUS-170425-122005003

After a non-stop professional career lasting a mind-boggling 56 years, The Searchers are on their farewell tour which arrives at Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Monday February 25.

Frank Allen admits it’s time, even if band founder John McNally isn’t quite so sure. Frank is looking forward to a rest: “I am a great age! I am well past retirement age. John would carry on if he could, but I just no longer love the driving and the hanging around, the six hours or whatever to get somewhere and then all the waiting around.

He still loves performing, but said: “I have been thinking of this for a few years. I was thinking I just don’t want one of us to collapse on stage and me to have to pick up all the pieces, all the bank accounts and the solicitors and all that. I just want to go on stage and get applauded every three minutes! I decided I wanted to finish on my own terms.”

Frank is looking forward to looking back on it all: “We were part of the most important part of British pop history, and that was all down to The Beatles. When they opened the doors, everyone else followed. Before that, British music was considered second class. You couldn’t even have got arrested in America, but suddenly Britain conquered the world. If you were part of all that, then you had the opportunity for a long career.

“We had our three years in the sun with lots of hits and then we trod water on the cabaret circuit where we learnt our craft, how to put together a show for an adult audience rather than lots of screaming teenagers. We dug our heels in, and then if you are doing something long enough, it turns full circle and you become popular again.”

Tickets £25.50 from royalhippodrome.com or 01323 802020.

read more: Eastbourne’s Towner Art Gallery launches two new exhibition with live music