Genesis in Mechanics mix
By Martin Hutchinson
Showcasing songs from their about-to-be released album ‘Let Me Fly’, Mike + The Mechanics played a scintillating set in an almost-full Bridgewater Hall.
The band started proceedings with the aptly-titled Are You Ready before a trio of Mechanics ‘classics’ in Another Cup Of Coffee, Get Up and Silent Running. A couple of new tracks followed, one of which – Save The World – was quite moving.
With this band, humour is never far from the surface, as evidenced in the between-song byplay between Mike Rutherford and co-lead vocalist Andrew Roachford.
Rutherford announced that most of the band had started playing music in school bands, and asked Roachford the name of his school band.
“We had a cool name,” said Roachford, “it was called Tumbleweed.”
“My school band,” Rutherford said, smiling, “was called Genesis.”
Of course the roof came off the hall as the band launched into Land Of Confusion.
A couple of acoustic numbers followed and then we were treated to the title track of the new album; Let Me Fly.
And it has to be said that the new tracks played on the night promise that the new album is an absolute belter.
A new arrangement of The Mechanics hit Beggar On A Beach Of Gold was interesting, and then we had a rousing version of the Roachford hit Cuddly Toy, which stalled at No.3 in the charts when The Mechanics’ Living Years was at No.2.
As with the earlier version of the band, there were two lead-vocalists, taking it in turn to sing the hits; and while Roachford handled those songs, originally sung by Paul Carrack, those that were sung by Paul Young were generally sung by Tim Howar, whose rock voice is very powerful and lives the frontman image to a tee.
Both singers have been accepted by fans as worthy successors to Young and Carrack, their own singers and by no means copies of the earlier vocalists. The musical accompaniment by guitarist Anthony Drennan, keyboard player Luke Juby and drummer Gary Wallis was note-perfect.
Another Genesis classic in I Can’t Dance was followed by the four biggest Mechanics’ hits: Over My Shoulder (whistles by Luke Juby), All I Need Is A Miracle, and the encores The Living Years and Word Of Mouth.
As the tour was labelled as “including selected Genesis classics”, fans of Rutherford’s earlier band may have been disappointed as there were only two Genesis songs played.
Having said that, I doubt if anyone was really bothered as The Mechanics songs played on the night were excellent and representative of a fantastic band.
Are You Ready, Another Cup Of Coffee,
Get Up, Silent Running, Save The World, The Best Is Yet To Come,
Land Of Confusion, High Life, Wonder,
Let Me Fly, Beggar On A Beach Of Gold, Cuddly Toy, I Can’t Dance,
Over My Shoulder, All I Need Is A Miracle.
The Living Years, Word Of Mouth.