Frank Allen’s Searchers News June 2024

Hello again everyone,

It’s all over bar the shouting as people say, but I thought I’d pen one more newsletter to round things off once and for all – or maybe not!

The 2024 extension of the Thank You Tour was just as we had hoped, a time of sheer joy for all of us. Great crowds, excellent shows and a wonderful feeling between all of us both onstage and off. I’m including our amazing crew Jim Howell and Rob Hawkins in that bunch because in a sense they really were the people who brought us together once again. They were the catalyst that got us talking and interacting again like old friends, just as we once were. We even brought Rob on stage with us in the final evening to join John McNally Junior for a final rendition of Love Potion No 9. What an amazing sight that was. And Robbie just loved being a Searcher for a few minutes.

Groups are very much like marriages. Sometimes being too close to other people for too long can have a negative effect and it needs another element to intervene and revive that closeness that had dissipated somewhat over the years. Jimi and Rob certainly fulfilled that role. Such nice people and such fun, not to mention superb at their jobs. Once again we were talking and laughing in the green rooms and life on the road was as it should be once more. It was a joy and we are all sad it’s all over. Or is it?

Nothing has been planned. There are no shows set up for the future. But we have learned the truth of the phrase never say never and there might just be the faintest possibility of selected performances yet to come. It is very unlikely that it would be in the form of a gruelling tour of all evening shows. We are not getting any younger and any undertakings would not happen for nine months time at the earliest. By then John would ben heading towards 84 and I am all but a couple of years behind. Life on the road doesn’t get any easier.

Perhaps one way would be a gentle run of Warners Country House weekend shows which take in Saturday evenings and only require a 75 minute set. If something of that sort is offered we may consider it. I’ll keep you informed of any progress. Of course those venues may not be to the taste of everyone.

There is always the possibility of a one-off special concert for which we might possibly be invited to guest on. But it would have to be really special because one-off shows do take a lot of preparation and rehearsing. We certainly could not refuse a second Royal Variety Show in  the very unlikely event of being asked.

Several people even mentioned Glastonbury. I think that would be very unlikely. As influential and renowned as we became we don’t seem to figure prominently enough to warrant the interest of the relevant powers that be. We were never edgy or controversial enough. And boy, we would certainly have to do some rehearsing for that one for fear of making complete fools of ourselves. 

Whatever the future has in store John and I (together we own the name and all legal rights to The Searchers) have decided we will never relinquish ownership and title of the band and we will fiercely protect it in the same way we have done through the years. As far as I am concerned a band without John McNally can never be The Searchers. Promoters employing misleading advertising which could be deemed as “passing off” should be very careful. We have dealt very successfully with such problems in the past and will take suitable action in the future should it be necessary. There are quite a few in the past who have found to their dismay that it is a very expensive route to go down.

John and I do of course wish Spencer and Ritchie all the best for their ventures yet to come and should we proceed with any concert plans we hope that they are free to be there as a part of the line-up alongside us. That will be something worth waiting for wouldn’t it? But of course we respectfully request that they too have to keep a close eye on misleading advertising and to instruct promoters accordingly.

One very important thing to do is to thank you who have supported us throughout the decades. We have a following that is the envy of so many other groups of our era and we are so grateful to you all. It has been a magical ride.

I must mention Tim Viney who for so long maintained our profile with the fanzine which he produced so well. His passing was so sad and he was too young to leave us.

Wendy Burton, along with Gary Jackson took care of our superb website which in these days on the internet (I’m a bit of a muppet at IT stuff) is an essential part of communication for anyone in the entertainment industry.

Mick and Chris Peebles along with Carolyn and Chris Wright set up a Facebook Page as another side to keeping the name out there. We are grateful to all these people.

Alan Field has guided our career for such a long time and will continue to explore possibilities on our behalf. Thank you Alan for all the hard work.

I`m very tempted to mention some of our regular followers who have traipsed around the U.K and in some cases to foreign lands to enjoy the shows but it would be too unfair because there will always be names who have been inadvertently omitted. So many of those people we know by face and by name but it is obviously dangerous to pick and choose. You know who you are. We just hope you know that we appreciate you very much indeed. You were all, and still are, very important to us.

And there we are. The future? Watch this space. Meanwhile stay happy and stay safe.

Frank Allen.

on behalf of John, Spencer and Ritchie.

Management: Alan Field
020 8441 1137 – 07836 555300