Frank Allen from The Searchers on The Beatles, not playing music at home and famous people in his  phone

Frank Allen from The Searchers on The Beatles, not playing music at home and famous people in his phone


English beat group, The Searchers, emerged as part of the 1960s Merseybeat scene, along with the Beatles.

The band’s hits include a remake of the Drifters' 1961 hit, Sweets for My Sweet, When You Walk in the Room, and Sugar and Spice.

We caught up with Frank Allen from the band for a chat…

The Searchers have had so many iconic hits, what’s your favourite to perform live? 

“When You Walk in the Room, which was first released in 1964.”

What’s your greatest achievement in your career? 

“Having so many hits that influenced the likes of Springsteen, The Byrds and Tom Petty.”

What do you love best about performing live? 

“There is nothing quite as addictive as the sound of audience applause.”

Did you often get compared to the Beatles back in the day? 

“Not really. They were way ahead of everyone and it is only because of them that we and others were able to make it.”

What instruments do you all play? 

“John McNally on lead guitar and vocals, me on bass guitar and vocals, Spencer James rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and Scott Ottaway on drums.”

Is there anyone that you owe your success to? 

“The Beatles for opening the doors and Tony Hatch for guiding our recordings. Tony wrote Sugar and Spice, and produced many artists.”

The most famous person in your phonebook? 

“Pete Towshend, The Who’s guitarist and songwriter.”

Do you enjoy performing more now or when you were younger? 

“I enjoy much more the control now that comes with maturity but nothing can replace the excitement of that time when we were at the top of the charts.”

How well do you all get on? 

“Very well because we give each other space.”

Can you ever imagine a day when you’re not performing or making music? 

“Yes, but I have no idea just when that will be. It has to happen at some point or maybe we’ll just pop our clogs on stage.”

What do you think is the secret of your success? 

“The Beatles, a lot of luck and having the finger on the pulse of what was happening back then.”

Something people would be surprised to know about you?

“I do not play music in the car or at home.”

What are your plans for 2016? 

“More enjoyable work and a bit of free time to do a bit of private travel.”

What current artists do you enjoy listening to? 

“Very few due to not playing much music. However I like The Dixie Chicks, Michael Feinstein and a lot of stuff from The Great American Songbook.”

Is there anything you’d still like to achieve? 

“A final hit would be nice just to see us out in a wave of glory.”