I was born literally days after The Seekers made their farewell appearance as a group on a BBC TV special in 1968, so growing up loving their folk pop style I never even envisaging that one day I may get a chance to see them live onstage.
And yet last spring it was announced, Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley would revisit the UK to play a special series of dates in the country where their international success had begun in 1964 as part of their 50th anniversary farewell tour. But after an Australian concert last summer, Judith was taken seriously ill with a brain haemorrhage.
Seekers fans worldwide sent messages of goodwill while her band mates posted updates on her recovery via the groups Facebook feed. The UK dates were postponed and we all waited and wondered if we would ever see and hear our four and only Seekers live on stage.
Then on Monday evening, the rescheduled UK tour commenced and we did. The words to Come The Day: “Lift up your voices and sing this song, Let the whole world hear it loud and strong” resonated across St David’s Hall’s auditorium with power and energy as Athol kept a firm sturdy pace on double bass, Keith and Bruce provided harmonies and guitar accompaniment and Judith defied any recent illness through the power of song. Athol described Judith as “this miracle right here” and he was right.
There were several standing ovations, and pure joy came from the audience as the quartet performed their greatest hits including I’ll Never Find Another You, Georgy Girl and When Will The Good Apples Fall?
A backdrop screen reminded the audience of The Seekers 1960s heyday including performing at the 1965 NME poll winners concert alongside The Beatles and The Stones before leading into a magical sequence where The Seekers from 1965 were seen performing A World Of Our Own on screen behind The Seekers of today.
Athol and Judith encouraged audience participation with the evergreen favourite Morningtown Ride which was reprised twice while both Bruce and Keith respectively took the lead with their self penned songs I Am Australia and Guardian Angel.
Towards the concerts two hour climax, Judith thanked both the fans and her brothers Keith, Bruce and Athol “…without whose encouragement I surely wouldn't have got here”.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m quite emotional after that” Keith told the audience, before The Seekers wound up a two hour set with Keep A Little Dream in Your Pocket and an encore of The Carnival Is Over.
The beginning of the UK tour was clearly a dream come true for The Seekers and their fans. Long may they continue!
The Seekers will be touring the UK until June 3, check out their official website for further details.A version of this review appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on May 2, 2014.