Most people have had Saturday jobs, but few have had one that has sold more than ten million records. Mike Rutherford formed Mike & the Mechanics while Genesis rested.
Following the death of Paul Young and the departure of Paul Carrack, this was the first night of a new incarnation – few bands have replaced their frontmen with success, but Rutherford set a precedent by replacing Peter Gabriel in Genesis with the singing drummer.
Rutherford walked out to rapturous applause, opening with The Road. Two frontmen felt odd initially, as Roachford assumed the focus as Canadian Tim Howar seemed in need of an anchor.
Few men could match Carrack’s effortless vocals and nimble fingers, but that is Roachford’s skill – he has been a sleeping giant waiting for another opportunity to shine. The show did look like Andrew Roachford featuring Mike & the Mechanics, such was his command of the stage.
Surprisingly, the audience were treated to Roachford solo hits Cuddly Toy and his own favourite, Only To Be With You. The roof came off the Opera House as the band went into Genesis’s Follow You, Follow Me and I Can’t Dance.
The Living Years illustrated just what Roachford can do with a song, receiving a standing ovation.
Howar’s All I Need Is A Miracle showed the many levels of vocal power as he grew in confidence.
For Mike Rutherford this was a labour of love that was all about the quality of songwriting, musicianship and voices all delivered in the only way he knows how – not looking Over His Shoulder, but looking at The Road ahead.
© York Press, by Ian Donaghy
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