As a founder member of Genesis, Mike Rutherford was never shy of success; but with a long-held desire to collaborate with other musicians, he decided to give himself that opportunity by forming his own band, Mike + The Mechanics.
It's fairly safe to say that Mike + The Mechanics didn't go on to become anywhere near as successful as Genesis, but that never really seemed to be the intention.
By surrounding himself with talented musicians, Rutherford was given the creative license to fulfil any musical voids that he may have once had; and if one of those voids was to put on a fantastic show at the Symphony Hall, then he can tick that one off his list.
There was never any question over the talent on display here in Birmingham, but after re-forming in 2010, there was something significantly different about the band.
Paul Young and Paul Carrack played a huge part in originally establishing the sound of The Mechanics, but the vocal responsibility now lies with Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar.
It was instantly apparent that Roachford and Howar offer a more soulful dimension, and this change of style seemed a respectful decision rather than trying to imitate Carrick and Young.
As the evening went on, the performance turned out to be very uplifting, and although their more recent material stood up well against the old, there were also moments that felt very Genesis influenced.
Covering Turn It On Again and I Can't Dance probably contributed heavily to that feeling, but the boys did a great job and it was great to hear these tracks played live.
Their own back catalogue of material was slightly less formidable, but their set did include their most popular songs including A Beggar on a Beach of Gold, All I need is a Miracle and The Living Years.
The performance proved to be a musical master-class, and Roachford demonstrated that soul can be fused with rock by performing his famous 1988 hit, Cuddy Toy.
The encore then featured the fabulous Over My Shoulder, which proved to be a fan-favourite, and it truly lifted the energy before bringing an end to a very good show.
This was a very talented band on display, and having sold over 10 million records, this concert proved that Mike + The Mechanics are still as good as they ever were.
© Walsall Advertiser, by Scott Campbell
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