Legendary band Mike and The Mechanics is returning with a new line-up, new record deal, new album and new tour.
The multi-million selling band will perform live at Plymouth Pavilions, May 15, as part of a 22-date Hit The Road Tour 2011.
Following a six-year hiatus and a massive reunion world tour with Genesis, original member Mike Rutherford has joined forces with one of the UK's most successful R&B acts of the Nineties, Andrew Roachford, and Canadian-born actor and singer Tim Howar for a new generation of Mike and The Mechanics.
Andrew, who broke into the UK music scene in his early 20s and stormed the UK charts with the anthem Cuddly Toy and became Columbia's biggest selling UK act for 10 years, joined a new chapter in the incredible story of Mike and The Mechanics in 2009 when he received a telephone call saying Mike was interested in forming a new line-up.
Despite having mutual friends, neither had met before and as soon as they did, the ideas and music instantly flowed.
Andrew, both co-writer and singer with the band, recalled: "I was definitely a Mike and The Mechanics fan. I remember, begrudgingly, when they beat my own song to number one when they released The Living Years. But when I heard it I knew it was a good song. Lyrically it was very poignant and I remember thinking, 'Wow, what a tune'. I have forgiven him!
"Once we met and got to the stage when we realised it was OK and working, Mike was quite open and I didn't need to hold back. I've always been aware it's a Mike and The Mechanics project and not just an Andrew Roachford project. I wanted to get a feeling for where he was at. I sat back a bit until I understood what he was about then once we got past there it was very much a natural, organic process.
"It's different from my solo work which is a lot rawer in approach and not so polished. The album is still fundamentally very Mike and The Mechanics."
Last month the band released the album The Road, having signed a new record deal with Sony Music label Arista. Andrew is now looking forward to sharing it live with new and old fans alike on tour.
"If you had asked me before we started rehearsing for the tour what my favourite song of the album is, I would have said every track has got its own life and story," revealed Andrew.
"But live, I find singing Try To Save Me is a favourite. I find I get lost in it which is always a really good sign. We will also be performing some of the old songs. It's big shoes to fill and I had to get past that whole thing. I had to sort of put on a slightly different hat when I was in rehearsals and they started to become my own.
"The live show is going to be a mixture of new and old"
"I will also be doing some of my solo stuff, as will Tim. For me, the show is very much about interacting with the audience and bringing them right in."
It will be a busy year for Andrew because not only is he involved in Mike and The Mechanics, he is also continuing to pursue his own solo work and has released a new album.
Like most artists, Andrew aspires to reach the success achieved by Mike and The Mechanics.
Formed in 1984, Mike and The Mechanics was a side project that would go on to sell more than 10 million records worldwide.
Originally featuring vocalists Paul Carrack and Paul Young, the group developed a rich catalogue of hit after hit including Silent Running, All I Need Is A Miracle, Over My Shoulder and the massive worldwide hit single The Living Years.
The Hit The Road Tour 2011 will bring all these hits and more back to life alongside the debut live performances of new tracks from The Road.
© This is Devon
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