BRITAIN”S longest-running chart-topping band The Searchers have headed out on the road one more time, with Forest of Dean musician Spencer James again providing vocals and guitar on classic hits like Needles And Pins, Sweets For My Sweet, Sugar And Spice and When You Walk In The Room.

The Merseybeat band, who rubbed shoulders with The Beatles at the likes of The Cavern and beyond in the early 60s, announced retirement after touring the nation in 2023, finishing with a triumphant home town show at the Liverpool Philharmonic.

Bass player Frank Allen says of the current dates: “Yes, this really looks like the final tour... there has to be an end at some point, although we still say ‘never say never’.”

The band was originally formed as a skiffle group in 1957 by John McNally, who is still with the band, and Mike Pender, who departed in 1985 to be replaced by Spencer.

Spencer, from Lydney, also toured as part of a supergroup featuring members of Whitesnake, Bad Company and Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey.

The Searchers’ racked up No 1s in the UK and top-20 hits in the US as part of the 60s British Invasion, and toured the world, including dates in Australia and Las Vegas.

They are playing Cardiff’s New Theatre on June 2 and tickets are available via or by calling 0343 310 0041.