BRITAIN”S longest-running pop band The Searchers are entertaining their fans in classic fashion as they continue on their “Thank You” tour. 

The tour, which began April 6, 2024 will run until June 13, 2024 and could prove to be the band’s last hoorah. 

The Mersey Beat band, who rubbed shoulders with The Beatles in the early 60s, include Lydney’s Spencer James and are famous for their 60s hits ’Sweets for my Sweet’ and ’Sugar and Spice’, along with countless others. 

The Searchers originally announced retirement in 2019, but returned in 2023 for what The Forester reported as their final tour.

But the Forest-based singer and the band were not ready for the curtain call. Frank Allen, the band’s bassist said: “Yes, this really looks like the final tour. I know we've said that before but there has to be an end at some point although we still say ‘never say never’ and allow the possibility of accepting an important one-off show if such an occasion was offered. 

“Maybe a second Royal Variety Show or another similarly prestigious occasion? We would certainly have to seriously consider such options, as unlikely as they may be.”

The band rose to fame during the Merseybeat scene in Liverpool and were originally formed as a skiffle group in 1957 (before The Beatles and The Rolling Stones), by John McNally and Mike Pender.

Spencer’s career took off in the 1970s as a member of The First Class, famous for their US hit single ’Beach Baby’.

After touring with Nightfly in the 1980s, he formed The Spencer James Band, with whom he shared the bill with The Searchers in 1985.

During this time, he toured as part of a supergroup featuring members of Whitesnake, Bad Company and Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey.

He joined The Searchers in 1985 following the departure of original singer Mike Pender, after he impressed the band members at a gig with The Spencer James Band.

The Searchers’ tours have taken them around the world, including to Australia and Las Vegas, and the band retains a dedicated international following.

The band will be playing in Cardiff’s New Theatre June 2. If you’re hoping to get tickets, you can secure them online or call 0343 310 0041.