All aboard for Mersey man Gerry’s last ferry at Blackpool Opera House

Gerry Marsden
Gerry Marsden

Once tipped to go further than The Beatles, Gerry And The Pacemakers were another band at the heart of the Merseybeat sound.

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They even hit the top of the charts before the Fab Four, when How Do You Do It reached number one, and were the first band to have their first three singles reach the top spot when they followed that debut with I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

But when they revisit Blackpool Opera House next month, as part of the annual Sixties Gold tour, it will be lead singer Gerry Marsden’s last.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said, confirming it as his last tour. “But I won’t be retiring completely. I’m going to stop doing the one-night stands.

“I’ve been doing it for long enough and I’m doing this one last tour as a ‘thank you’ to the fans for coming out and supporting us for all these years.

“I’ll still be doing music, for instance my ‘Gerry Cross The Mersey’ shows will continue and I’ve been asked to write a second autobiography.

“I must have a million [stories to tell], it’s just remembering them all.

“It’s all been entertaining and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not like a business – it’s a fun thing.”

Among the highlights, are that string of three number ones, meeting the Queen and getting the MBE, Gerry says.

Sixties Gold comes to the Opera House on Thursday, November 9, with a premium line-up that also features Vanity Fare backing Love Affair’s Steve Ellis and Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, The Searchers.

The string of hits attributed to these bands include I Live For The Sun, Hitchin’ a Ride, Early In The Morning, Everlasting Love, Rainbow Valley and Bringing On Back The Good Times, Do You Love Me?, Silence Is Golden, Needles And Pins, Sweets For My Sweet and Don’t Throw Your Love Away.

“There is no ‘top of the bill’ really,” Gerry said, from his home on Merseyside. “It’s all a great team.

“We’ll be playing as many of the hits that we can.”

And does he have any favourites among his many hits?

“I have actually; Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, Ferry Cross The Mersey and You’ll Never Walk Alone,” he said. “But I like them all – you don’t record songs you don’t like.

“I think it’ll all be emotional as it’ll be the last time I play at many of these theatres, and the last one [in Leeds] definitely will.

“I’ve been very lucky in my career to have worked with and met so many great people, and this will be all good fun.”

Sixties Gold tickets are available from the box office on 0844 856 1111 or online at www.winter gardensblackpool.com.