In Concert: The Searchers, Newport Riverfront, 2007


The Searchers were among a legion of bands that formed ‘The Mersey Sound’ back in 1963 and followed fellow Liverpudlians The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers straight to the the top of the charts with hits such as Sweets For My Sweet, Don’t Throw Your Love Away and When You Walk In the Room.

Growing up literally a decade after their initial chart success, my awareness of them was a collection of Pye singles from the mid-60’s in my parents record box. I always loved the sound of the jangly guitars and falsetto vocals set against the scratchy popping of well played mono vinyl. There was always something quite magical about the sound of The Searchers

And last night, it was evident the magic was still there as the Searchers played to a packed house at the Riverfront. Long standing members John McNally and Frank Allen were joined by Spencer James and Eddie Rothe and belted out over 45 years worth of hits, b-sides and album tracks plus a few covers. There were many memorable moments including renditions of What Have They Done To The Rain?, Mr Tambourine Man and Roy Orbison’s Running Scared.

It was clear that The Searchers were thoroughly enjoying themselves  and had the audience joining in with the songs wherever possible.The raw energy of their original 1960’s records certainly transformed to the stage and I honestly felt I could smell the original Vinyl
  • A version of this review by Andy Howells was originally published in The South Wales Argus during October 2007.

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