Mike Rutherford really needs no introduction, certainly not to the extremely fascinated and focused crowd at the o2 Academy in Birmingham who roared in vocal appreciation at the man responsible for many of Genesis’s hits over the years, and who managed to juggle his side project Mike and the Mechanics with such musical aplomb.
The Mechanics are a far different proposition from the band that took the charts by storm in the mid 1980’s, however the group that Mike leads never falters in the way the go through a set or in the way they treat their fans with a huge amount of respect. Even though Paul Carrack and the late and much missed Paul Young are obviously not part of the band anymore, the current version of the group are just as succinct, just as professional and at their heart just as playful as anything that went on from the first record back in 1985.
With Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar joining the understated but none a less vital cog in British music history Mike Rutherford on stage, the crowd went justifiably wild with an expectation that steadily built up throughout the evening and by the end of a tremendous night of music in Birmingham had built to stunning crescendo.
Mike and the Mechanics opened the night with the title track from the 1995 album Beggar On A Beach Of Gold and the song Get Up, which left the audience in no doubt where they stood for the rest of the evening. This wasn’t just a song title reference but an instruction delivered with a passionate and sly smile from Andrew Roachford for which every member of the packed crowd took full advantage of for the rest of the night.
Other Mike and the Mechanics songs were played during the evening with the same passion and intensity that any fan would expect from a band steeped in such fine history. Everybody Gets A Second Chance, the excellent The Living Years, Silent Running (On dangerous Ground) and All I Need Is A Miracle were as well received as the wonderful inclusion of Andrew Roachford’s own song Cuddly Toy and the Genesis classics Follow You, Follow Me, I Can’t Dance and Throwing It All Away.
So rarely does a gig, given by any musicians of high quality deserve to have this moniker attached but rarely does happen occasionally and in this the word magnificent is justified.
© LSMedia, by Ian D. Hall
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