When the classic line-up of Genesis – Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Steve Hackett and Tony Banks – sat down together in London during the summer of 2014 to shoot an interview for a BBC documentary Genesis – Sum of the Parts, it fuelled speculation about a possible reunion.
That only intensified last autumn when former frontman Phil Collins, who left Genesis in 1996, announced he was coming out of retirement to embark upon a solo tour in 2017 following surgery to address a back catalogue of cumulative drumming injuries.
But as Mike Rutherford’s highly successful side project Mike and the Mechanics prepares for a much-anticipated concert at Perth Concert Hall on Friday March 17, the prospect of Genesis reforming anytime soon remains the stuff of speculation, insists Rutherford, whose band will be supporting Collins at Hyde Park in London this summer.
"I would never say never to a Genesis reunion – but there are no plans," Rutherford tells The Courier in an interview from his home in the south of England.
"We are supporting Phil Collins when he performs at Hyde Park in the summer," choosing not to be drawn on whether they will take to the stage together.
"It will be nice to see Phil back in action because he’s been quite unwell of late."
Even rock gods are entitled to a day off.
And Rutherford – one of the founder members of Genesis in 1967 – is no exception.
But when The Courier caught up with the 66-year-old guitarist this week at the mid-way point of a 32-date UK and Ireland tour, he admits there’s nothing like getting a run of tour dates together to get "match fit".
"I’m at home at the moment enjoying a day off," he adds.
"But being on tour is a bit like sport. I prefer to do touring because you start getting into it again – you get match fit!"
Mike and the Mechanics were formed by Rutherford in 1985 as a side project, going on to become a highly successful super-group in their own right.
The band is known for its hit singles Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground), All I Need is a Miracle, Word of Mouth, Over My Shoulder and The Living Years.
But perhaps inevitably, the set in Perth will include a number of Genesis hits.
With Roachford singer Andrew Roachford now embedded in the reformed Mechanics line-up, a rendition of the 1988 hit Cuddly Toy can also be expected.
The Mechanics line-up has certainly changed over the years. Following the departure of keyboardist Adrian Lee and drummer Peter Van Hooke in 1995, the death of vocalist Paul Young in 2000 and an acceptance between remaining vocalist Paul Carrack and Rutherford by 2004 that the band had "run its course", Rutherford revived the Mechanics in 2010 – bringing in a completely new set of musicians, including Roachford and Canadian Tim Howar on vocals.
Yet Rutherford says that after several years, the new line-up has gone down well with fans who tend to represent a good cross-over between Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics followers.
As well as classics from the extensive back catalogue, tracks from the new Mike and the Mechanics album 'Let Me Fly', released on April 7, will also featured. And so far, they too have gone down well, Mike says.
© The Courier, by Michael Alexander