THE swinging sixties have never quite left one of the original members of Merseybeat group The Searches.

Promoters are always on the other end of the phone asking Mike Pender what his touring plans are, proving that demand for the 76-year-old's unique voice has never quite gone away.

His latest 'yes' to a promoter will see the singer come to Glasgow's King's Theatre on Sunday as one of the main attraction's of The Sensational 60s Experience.

And for Mike it is a love of touring and being part of these shows which has enabled him to keep his career going for more than five decades.

"I am looking forward this tour because I still like performing really and that is what I have been doing for the past 10 years," he said in his subtle Liverpudlian accent.

He added: "The phone has never stopped ringing over the years and you always have agents or promoters asking what you are doing.

"I am saying to these guys, 'Are people still going to come?'

"And they say, 'Just leave that us.'

"The last 10 years, it has been about touring and taking people back to the 60s.

"It is a trip down memory lane and that is what I have been doing and what I am going to be doing for the next I don’t how many years. But who knows what is around the corner?"

Speaking from his home in Cheshire, Mike beams with enthusiasm as he talks about his career. You can tell he loves what he does and he is proud of what he achieved as a founder of The Searchers and as one of the voices of that decade.

Famed for hits Needles and Pins and When You Walk in the Room, The Searchers stood side by side with the likes of The Beatles, The Hollies, and Gerry and the Pacemakers as one of the most popular bands from that Merseybeat scene.

"If you talk about the things that stood out for me during that time, I suppose obviously having the first number one record (with Sweets for my Sweet)," beamed Mike.

He continued: "It is a fantastic feeling when you come from nowhere and then get to number one in the charts with your record.

"The next thing was going to America and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show which was the biggest show you could be on in America at that time.

"I can remember when I was still quite a young boy in Liverpool coming home from my job and switching on the television to see Elvis Pressley or Buddy Holly on The Ed Sullivan Show, and it was only two or three years later that we were on there so I couldn’t believe it. So that is a really big thing for me to do that."

The Searchers, who took their name from the classic 1956 John Ford western, also had a contract at the famous Star Club in Hamburg which saw them mingle with some of rock and roll's biggest stars.

Mike said: "We met all our rock and roll heroes like Joe Perry, Bill Haley and Jerry Lee Lewis. All these guys had been the big stars in America. We were the slaves really and we had to work until 4am in the morning. That is how hard it was but the money was good and we gave up our jobs in Liverpool to go there."

Today, however, Mike works a circuit which delivers nothing but 60s nostalgia to fans. The demand for the shows in which Mike performs is huge and it is the one thing that has kept him away from the recording studio.

Mike explained: "I did go back into the studio and as The Searchers we recorded albums.

"But even though the product was good, they didn’t sell. By the time the 80s came round, I decided for me that the studio wasn’t going to happen so much."

He added: "I have been performing around the world with different shows and people aren’t interested in anything new that you have done. They want the memories back, they want the nostalgia and that is what the show is all about. It is taking people back to the good times that they remember all those years ago."

For the fans, who want to know more about that time, Mike has even published his memoirs, The Search for Myself.

"The reviews have been good so I am really thrilled about the book,"explained Mike.

He continued: "I am just going to be happy knowing I have done most of the things in life that I wanted to do. I wanted to write a book, I have written a book. We have had gold records, we have had silver records and we had number ones. We have been to America. I think we have done everything that you can possibly do. Showbusiness has given me a great life and I couldn’t ask for anymore really."

Catch The Sensational 60s Experience, which also features The Fortunes, Herman's Hermits, Chris Farlowe and The New Amen Corner, at The King's Theatre on Sunday. Tickets on sale now.

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