Although much has changed since their self-titled debut was released in 1985, Mike and The Mechanics’ current line-up has been touring together for almost a decade and it showed on Saturday night at the Guildhall.
Led by a charismatic Tim Howar, the band began with a slow-building performance of The Best is Yet to Come from their last album Let Me Fly, before playing 1995 hits Another Cup of Coffee and A Beggar on a Beach of Gold.
There was something for everyone in the rest of a highly polished first half; the room’s Mike Rutherford enthusiasts enjoyed a compromised version of Genesis’ Land of Confusion, while those old enough to remember the late 80s showed their appreciation for a long and lively take on Cuddly Toy – the biggest single of singer Andrew Roachford’s namesake band.
The balance of old, new and borrowed continued after a short interval, with another Genesis cover Follow You, Follow Me played acoustically ahead of 2017’s Don’t Know What Came Over Me and What Would You Do? – one of only three new tracks on the band’s soon-to-be-released collection Out of the Blue.
The night’s newer tracks were met with a slightly muted response from the crowd, but there was more enthusiasm for a finale full of classics. The Living Years, All I Need is a Miracle, Over My Shoulder and Word of Mouth brought an immaculately executed show to a close, proving once again that when it comes to writing and performing soft-rock hits, few do it better than Mike and The Mechanics.
© Portsmouth, by Graeme Parton
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