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Mike's new singers add fresh dynamic to show

It wasn't really that surprising, in a way, that Plymouth Pavilions was not completely rammed for the arrival of Mike and The Mechanics.

After all, with only one original member – plus drummer Gary Wallis, who has been a Mechanic for some considerable time – and neither of the original vocalists present, you had to be a real fan to pay the not inconsiderable ticket price to see them perform on Sunday night.

Of course, we knew to expect some of those fabulous timeless tracks and class musicianship, but the fact is that the introduction of new vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar to the line-up has brought a whole fresh dynamic to the live show. And the pair complement each other perfectly, Andrew with his fabulously melodic r'n'b delivery and Tim with a stonking rock voice that takes some songs to a whole new level.

While Mike stood centre stage, lean and cool – well preserved for a sixty something and flanked by a couple of equally tall and reserved, quality instrumentalists – the two animated front-men proceeded to put on a show. The youthful Tim in particular flung himself around the stage with great enthusiasm, whipping up the crowd and enticing audience participation where appropriate, like a member of a Genesis tribute show who can't quite believe his good fortune.

Plenty of the top tunes made the set list, to the delight of the appreciative crowd – Beggar on a Beach of Gold, Another Cup of Coffee and Over My Shoulder brought cheers, but new tracks from the latest offering The Road sat very comfortably, too, particularly the title track, which opened the show, and a very clever little ditty called I Don't Do Love.

Unexpected bonus crowd pleasers came in the form of a couple of Genesis tracks, a superb rhythmic rendition of Follow You Follow Me as well as I Can't Dance, while Andrew Roachford also got to funk things up a bit with a couple of his compositions, Only to Be With You and his top five hit Cuddly Toy.

Top track of the night, though, had to be The Living Years, superbly interpreted by Andrew with considerably more notes than the original, while Word of Mouth – the follow-up single delivered, full throttle, by Tim – provided a rousing finale to an excellent show.

Those who had forked out were well rewarded indeed.

© The Herald

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