Talking Music: Searchers Star, Mike Pender
“It’s nice to get some of the cheques through for royalties after fifty years,” singer and musician, Mike Pender tells Andy Howells as he discusses his days with the 1960s chart act, The Searchers.
Mike still enjoys the thrill of getting paid for work he did over half a century ago.
“Of course, you still have to do other things," Mike laughs, " I wouldn’t like to sit around in the garden drinking bottles of wine all day!”
Mike was not only The Searchers vocalist on hits such as Needles and Pins but also provided the distinctive 12-string 'jangly' guitar sound on million selling hits such as Sweets for My Sweet, Don’t Throw Your Love Away and When You Walk in The Room.
Mike remained with The Searchers line-up until 1985 when he decided to leave to form his own band.
“It was a tough decision, but in many ways, it was an easy one,” he remembers, “We weren’t going anywhere and the records had all dried up."
"I thought, I’ll form my own band, bring some keyboards in and perform songs I couldn’t do before. There are some songs you can do with piano and keyboards that you can’t do with two guitars and a bass. That became more enjoyable for me, I could do beautiful songs like All Out of Love, with harmonies.
"Of course, when you have a change in your life, everything becomes new again, you start bouncing off the new guys in the band.
"It was a calculated risk, but I always had confidence I would go on and start enjoying my life again.”
Mike has continued to tour over the last thirty years with Mike Pender’s Searchers as well as making guest appearances at live shows featuring multiple artists, one of which takes place this Saturday at Cwmbran’s Congress Theatre.
Bringing on Back The 60s is hosted by 60s revivalists New Amen Corner and will also feature Mike D’Abo from Manfred Mann.
Mike, who will be selling signed copies of his autobiography at the show, has nothing but praise for New Amen Corner who will be backing him on several classic Searchers hits,
“People say, “Mike, the sound was great tonight,” and although I still do the vocal and (play) my 12 string Rickenbacker, you’ve got to give a lot of applause to the backing band. Without them I wouldn’t sound as good!”
Bringing on Back The 60s featuring The New Amen Corner with guest artists Mike Pender and Mike D’Abo played The Congress Theatre on May 20, 2017.