They still like teaching the world to sing
The New Seekers, possibly the UKs most successful vocal group of the seventies, return to the stage on Saturday September 20, headlining Pulse Radio’s Music Festival weekend at Cheddar in Somerset.
With a string of UK hits, including Beg, Steal or Borrow, Never Ending Song of Love, You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me, and of course, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, the group continue to add to their 35 million sales of records.
In 2009, while celebrating the group’s 40th anniversary, Universal Records released a greatest hits collection ‘It’s Been Too Long’ which entered the UK album chart at number 17. Paul Layton, the group’s bass player, a member of the group since 1970, was“absolutely delighted the album sold so well and to enter the chart so high was a real bonus. This was the week in which eight of Michael Jackson’s albums were re-released and all went Top 20, so imagine had this of not happened.”
While being largely over- looked by record labels to issue the group’s songs on CD, this confirmed there remained a huge market wanting to re-discover their fabulous songs.
The group’s present line-up has been together for well over a decade and has proved extremely popular at theatres on live concert tours between 2006 and 2010 when the group performed more than 200 concerts. Paul said: “We decided to rest our guitars for a while after so many live shows, and we have concentrated on private gigs, but this invitation from Pulse Radio was too exciting to say ‘no’ to.
“We always enjoyed festivals, as they add a different atmosphere to theatres and clubs, so it’s really exciting to be part of this line-up which, during the weekend, includes Owen Paul, The Shires and Kyotie: and of course, Cheddar is such a beautiful setting.”
“Despite being away from the spotlight for a few years, I have been able to support my family with their chosen careers, also in front of an audience. My wife Patricia performs her own children’s show which involves magic, and my daughter Lucy Layton has a new album ‘Downbeat and Loved’ recently released and is also busy working as a DJ and successful model.
“Talent appears to run in the Layton family as my son Jack has a great career in motor racing, which evolved from a hobby, and I love going along to watch him race.
“The young were not around during The New Seekers chart-topping days, of course, but in recent years, they have come along to quite a few of the group’s concerts and it has been great for me to have them with me at shows to see their Dad on stage”.
Fellow group member Mick Flinn who, before joining the group was a member of the Australian group The Mixtures, has a separate series of shows to perform before the outing in Cheddar.
“The Mixtures enjoyed many hits back home, including The Pushbike Song,” said Mick. “We recently received an excellent invitation to tour Australia as part of a retro tour of the country, and we can’t wait to get out there! “What is extra exciting is that my wife Donna Jones is also on the bill as ‘Pussyfoot’, as she had a massive No.1 single in 0z in the late seventies, and has remained popular there. So this allows us a fabulous opportunity to tour together and perform on the same, bill other than as fellow New Seekers.
“However, almost as soon as we return from Australia, we have this great concert in Cheddar to look forward to, so it’s an exciting few months ahead for us.
“It’s not just The Rolling Stones and The Who refusing to turn their backs on their music careers – and why not? We continue to retain an audience, and we all love getting up on stage to sing these brilliant songs, with some newer numbers, so who knows what is next.”
Pulse Radio’s Music Festival is at Petruth Paddocks in Cheddar on September 20 and 21 with The New Seekers top of the bill on the first day.