THE longest running band in pop history will be heading to Chester as they attempt a second farewell tour.

Merseybeat legends The Searchers tried to hang up their Rickenbackers last year, with a final ‘Thank You’ tour of the UK. But their sold-out 43-date tour was so successful, that they have announced a second ‘Thank You’ tour for 2024.

The band, which was formed by John McNally in 1957, have sold over 50 million records and scored thirteen UK chart hits over their 67-year career.

They will appear at Chester Storyhouse on Tuesday, April 9 at 7.30pm.

Guitarist John McNally said: “The fans don’t want us to stop… and nor do we! The reception we had on the last tour was just amazing – fans singing along to our songs as if they were recent hits. It was such a tremendous experience, we’re going to do it all over again!

Bassist Frank Allen said: “This musical journey is now in its sixty eighth year… we can’t get our heads around it. Like so many of our contemporaries, we thought our careers wouldn’t last more than a few years but here we are, nearly seven decades on. We’ve realised that The Searchers are for life, not just for Christmas! Another major factor in wanting to do it again is that the last tour was just so much fun. We can’t wait to get back out there.

The 2024 ‘Thank You’ tour – titled as a mark of respect and appreciation for their legions of fans – will take in towns and cities where The Searchers didn’t manage to play in 2023. The tour starts on Saturday, April 6 at the Alveston Hall, Nantwich and covers 28 dates, culminating at the Town Hall, Dudley on Thursday, June 13.

Fans will be treated to a full set of The Searchers’ best-loved songs, including ‘When You Walk In The Room’, ‘Goodbye My Love’, ’Sugar & Spice’, ‘What Have They Done To The Rain’ as well as their three UK No.1 hits ‘Sweets for my Sweet’ (1963), ‘Needles and Pins’ (1964) and ‘Don’t Throw Your Love Away’ (1964).

Also included will be material from the 70s and 80s, when the Searchers were signed to Sire Records, becoming label-mates with some of the hippest acts around including Talking Heads, The Cure, Madonna and The Ramones – who covered ‘Needles and Pins’. This was one of the band’s favorite creative periods and saw them recording at Rockfield Studios in Wales (famous for Queen’s recording of Bohemian Rhapsody). Keep an ear out for gems including ‘Hearts in Her Eyes’, ‘Love’s Melody’, ‘Infatuation’ and ‘It’s Too Late’.

The band line-up includes original members John McNally (guitar, vocals) and Frank Allen (bass, vocals)  and Spencer James (guitar, vocals – Spencer has been part of the line-up for 38 years) and Richie Burns (drums).