Mike + The Mechanics were formed in 1985 as a side project for Mike Rutherford, one of the guitarists for progressive-rock giants Genesis.
The Mechanic's music was, at that time at least, more geared toward the mainstream than Genesis and managed a number of top 40 hits during the band's tenure in the 1980s and 90s, most notably The Living Years, which topped the US charts and most of Europe.
The success was perhaps buoyed by the rest of The Mechanics' line-up, which featured Sad Cafe's front man Paul Young and former Roxy Music and Squeeze member, Paul Carrack. The band's split in the mid-90s and then the tragic death of vocalist Young seemed to spell an end to the Mechanics, but in 2010, Rutherford announced a new line-up and a new album followed.
Since then, they've toured as successfully as ever, and are touring the US this year for the first time in over two decades. This past Sunday night the band found themselves in front of a packed and wildly enthusiastic crowd at the Colston Hall.
The question presaging Sunday's night performance was whether the new members are a good fit for the music and that fans of the Mechanics will accept different interpretations of the classics they loved upon their initial release.
However, that doubt was swiftly put to rest as soon as the two new front men, Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar, got a chance to perform the Mechanics' songs, blasting through hits such as All I Need is a Miracle and Over My Shoulder with gusto and to the delight of everyone.
It wasn't just Mechanics' songs though and Genesis favourites featured too, as well as a riotously enjoyable rendition of Roachford's own hit single from 1989, Cuddly Toy. Howar doesn't quite have the delicacy of Paul Carrack, but he makes up for it in sheer power, with a voice that could blow down any of the Little Pigs' houses.
Taking their final bows amidst a rapturous reception from the crowd, it's easy to see that even after 30 years, there's still plenty of life left in Mike + the Mechanics.
© Bristol Post, by Lee Callaway (5/5)
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