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Review: Mike and the Mechanics at The Bridgewater Hall

Being a member of one of the biggest bands in history you would think would be enough success for most people - but not Genesis founder member Mike Rutherford.

In 1985 he went on to set up a highly successful sideline with supergroup Mike and the Mechanics and the ‘project’ went on to release seven albums, selling more than 10 million records worldwide including huge hits like Silent Running, All I Need is a Miracle, Another Cup of Coffee, Over My Shoulder and The Living Years, which was a No 1 in the US.

After nearly 10 years and a massive reunion world tour with Genesis, Mike Rutherford joined forces with one of the UK's most successful R&B acts, Andrew Roachford, and Canadian-born actor and singer Tim Howar in 2010 for a new generation of Mike & The Mechanics.

Last night the current incarnation of the band rocked Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall at the start of their UK Tour.

It was a sell-out gig and the lucky audience (whose average age profile was 60-ish) was treated to three acts in one - lots of 1980s and 90s M&M hits and some newer stuff plus a few tracks from Mr Rutherford’s ‘day job’ Genesis... and then a blast of pure Roachford with his massive 1989 hit Cuddly Toy.

By the end of the set almost everyone in the stalls was up and bopping like teenagers.

It has to be said I was a little worried that Roachford and Howar would not match the original line up vocals of Paul Young and then Paul Carrack, but they quickly proved to be more than up to the job - Roachford just oozes talent and Howar sounds exactly like the M&M of old.

The boundless energy of Howar was also obvious as he constantly bounded around the stage, much to the amusement of his bandmates.

I had also forgotten what a great venue the Bridgewater Hall is - a lot of seating but still retaining an intimate feel, unless you really are ‘up in the gods’, and fantastic acoustics. It really is one of Manchester’s entertainment venue gems.

While the album including their most famous song, Living Years, has celebrated its 25th anniversary, Mike & The Mechanics are still hitting the road, to the obvious pleasure of their UK fans.

© Manchester Eveningnews, by Steve Howarth

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