Monday, 9 July 2018
Though the 1960 date seems early enough anyway, The Searchers had been going in some form since 1957 when a teenage John McNally started a skiffle group at school before adding Mike Pender, Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis. The gig we’ve listed here is the first to be played under ‘The Searchers’ name and which featured all four ‘founding’ Searchers – along with their then lead vocalist Johnny Sandon, who back then took billing on all the early posters. It’s a sign, though, of how respected the just-named Searchers were and what a following they had that they were booked to play Litherland Town Hall on their first gig rather than a local club. Their setlist has been lost in the mists of time but was likely to include a similar setlist to what was recorded in 1963 as ‘The Iron Door Club Sessions’ :  ‘Let’s Stomp’  ‘Ain’t That Just Like Me’ and  ‘Jambalaya’ were all early favourites, along with  ‘What’d I Say?’ and a Chris Curtis sung version of ‘I Who Have Nothing’. How did it go down? We don’t really know – nobody seems to have reviewed the gig and unlike some bands who still have clear memories of their first gig decades on The Searchers have never really talked about it.