Only if you know The Seekers, definitely not to be confused with The New Seekers, and are familiar with their music, will these two tea towels make any sense to you. A woman of my age can remember the Australian Group that started in 1963, and made their presence felt on the British charts in 1965; they were the first Australian Group to achieve success in Britain. I used to love them. Ian McFarlane, music historian, described them as “too pop to be considered strictly folk and too folk to be considered to be rock” and that’s what I liked about them – they didn’t quite fit any genre. They appeared on the same bill as Dusty Springfield on one occasion and the Beatles on another, but were like neither. In 1968, they received a joint award of Australian of the Year – the first group to do that.
Back in 2014, I saw that The Seekers, who had broken up and re-formed several times, had started a 50th Anniversary Tour and were coming to Britain. That would bring back memories, I thought. I booked tickets for September 2014 at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham but later received a letter saying that Judith Durham had a brain haemorrhage and the date had been re-arranged for May 2015. They said I could have a refund if I wanted. Why would I want a refund? As someone who has worked with disabled people all their lives, I did wonder how they could predict that she would be well enough to travel and perform in 8 months time. I hadn’t realised that her brain haemorrhage had been in 2013 and she was well on the road to recovery, although it had affected her ability to read, including reading music, but had not affected her ability to sing.
This was a brilliant concert; the purity of her voice was incredible. They performed hits like “I’ll never find another you” and “A World of our own” plus some newer material. The four, Judith Durham, Keith Podger, Athol Guy and Bruce Woodley, were on stage singing for more than two hours. Just listening to them brought back all those memories from my teenage years. Their music was as relevant today as back in 1960s. Here was a group who understood what a good tea towel (or towels) could do for your publicity. As they had two, and I couldn’t choose between the two, I bought both – one is the front cover of the 50th Anniversary Album and the other a pencil sketch of the four of them, and they haven’t changed. I love both tea towels and certainly using them inspires me to sing one or two of their songs while wiping up; not a pretty sound but enjoyable to me. It was one of the best concerts I have been to, where the artists have not lost the quality of their voices over time. What a group!!
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