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Review: Mike and The Mechanics, Sheffield City Hall

Andrew Roachford & Tim Howar Andrew Roachford & Tim Howar Rusty Pottamus

Mike & The Mechanics were always more than a mere side project for Mike Rutherford of super-group Genesis fame. And the latest incarnation of the group proves it continues to be his labour of love.

Rutherford has assembled a new band with an eye to the past and to the future. They played a storming set of the Mechanics’ many hits, including Over My Shoulder and The Living Years, as well as material from the new album, The Road. There was even a nod to Genesis, with a version of Rutherford’s Follow You, Follow Me and Phil Collins’ I Can’t Dance. With Collins stating that Genesis is no more after an injury preventing him from ever playing drums, this was a welcome tribute.

The band were well-served by the powerful dual-vocal lead provided by Andrew Roachford - who was justifiably tipped for stardom in the late 1980s - and Tim Howar, making a career shift from his successes in musical theatre.

The Mechanics won rapturous applause from their many life-long fans, liberally mixed with more recent converts including one seven-year-old. People were stood and swaying their arms from early in the set, under orders from the 1993-hit Get Up.

Support act Scarlette Fever played a strong set, memorably including debut single Crash And Burn and a cover of Alanis Morissette’s Hand In My Pocket. Singer-songwriter Karen Louise Barrow can belt out a song with the best of them.

© The Star, by Elaine Marsden

1 comment

    PAUL BLYTHEN Wednesday, 01 June 2011 12:09 Comment Link Report

    The 7yr old is my son Ellis. We sat on the very front row of the Sheffield City Hall directly in front of Mike Rutherford and was singled out early into the concert by Mike Rutherford as he spoke about what was the average age of fans that ...came to their concerts. On noticing Ellis on the front row a stage spot light was directed at Ellis and he asked how old he was and then said he must be the youngest follower that they'd had.

    Later on in the concert, as the band returned to do an encore Mike Rutherford stepped forward and handed Ellis 4 guitar plectrums with Mike Rutherford's name on them.

    Ellis has listened to many Genesis and Mike & the Mechanics songs from a younger age and 'follow you, follow me' was one that has special meaning to the both of us.

    I never imagined that sitting on the front row would cause Ellis to steal the show.

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