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Mike and the Mechanics, still a well-oiled machine

Mike and The Mechanics - Rockhal Mike and The Mechanics - Rockhal Claude Piscitelli

The long serving mechanics still prove to be the best in their price range.

Ok I’ll admit I stole the intro line from Mike Rutherford while describing his ever reliable mechanics drummer Gary Wallis, who has been with the band over twenty years. This is the new incarnation of Mike and the Mechanics, the side project for Mike Rutherford, a founding member of Genesis. It’s quite an achievement when your less successful band has released seven albums, selling more than 10 million records but that’s the case for Rutherford.

In calling this tour the ‘hits’ it doesn’t leave you in too much doubt of what will be played tonight, none of ‘here is a new one off the new album’ but just bona fide hits from the 80’s& 90’s, a stroll down memory lane for everyone here.

Taking on the tough task of vocal duties for M+M these days are Andrew Roachford of the band Roachford and Tim Howar. This must be a hard chemistry to find, two singers happy to share the limelight but still in their own right managing to hold the crowd but in Howar and Roachford they have a great combination of both entertainers and vocalists. The unbridled energy and enthusiasm Howar brings is infectious.

As the tour name suggests it doesn’t take long before they kick into a good slice of 80s soft rock, accompanied with the compulsory guitar solo with ‘Silent Running’.

Although only a few more songs in, the words I maybe naively didn’t expect tonight, ‘Here’s a new one for you’ appear, It turns out they have written a whole host of new songs and for the M+M faithful out there they are ready to go back into the studio and record them soon, so album number eight is on the horizon.

After the new track ‘Let Me Fly’ they give back with the first Genesis number of the night ‘Turn it On Again’, before long it is time for Roachford to play his big Hit ‘Cuddly toy’, we’re now getting the hits from all three acts.

Mike Rutherford, photo Claude PiscitelliThen before you know it the stage is clear except for Rutherford up front with a solitary spotlight on him and his electric guitar, then the guitar kicks in with the simple riff for ‘I Can’t Dance” with the band making their way back onto stage one by one with vocals, followed by keys and then drums, we even get treated to obligatory jilted walk across the stage from Rutherford.

From then on it really is hit after hit with ‘Living years’, followed by ‘All I Need Is a Miracle’ which is really where Howar’s enthusiasm comes into it’s own, as he tries to get the usually less than responsive Luxembourg crowd to sing back but this time they duly oblige.

They go off to a rapturous applause and after returning for their encore with the crowd warmed up nobody needs any encouragement this time to sing all the words back to ‘Over My Shoulder’, I feel that the nostalgia has properly kicked in now and everyone is singing away just as they did the first time they heard it.

With everyone warmed up it’s now time for them to participate in a mass swaying of the arms from the West Side to the East side from the North side to the South for ‘Word of Mouth’ this brings the show to a triumphant end. 

I can’t help but leave feeling upbeat, this may be some nostalgia on my part too, every British kid born in the early 80s heard Mike and the Mechanics whilst growing up most likely with their dad singing along, but as much as the band were great it’s the songs that still stand the test of time.

© Luxemburger Wort, by Patrick Cameron

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