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ConcertsMike + The Mechanics @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK 03/01/2014

Posted on Monday, March 03 2014 @ 04:57:06 CST by Dean Pedley
Concert Reviews After lying dormant for some seven years Mike Rutherford reactivated The Mechanics back in 2011 with the release of new studio album The Road and a remodelled line-up featuring vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar. Two years later they are back out on tour in support of the 25th anniversary of The Living Years.

Both Roachford and Howar bring their own style and sound to the Mechanics; the former is renowned for his powerful soulful voice and this is well and truly to the fore throughout. His own solo hits 'This Generation' and 'Cuddly Toy' are up-tempo and raucous and offer a nice contrast to the more recent material he and Rutherford have written together, the heartfelt 'Try To Save Me' and 'When My Feet Don't Touch The Ground'. Howar has the task of tackling the two Genesis covers by way of a pumped up 'Turn It On Again' and 'I Can't Dance'. His background in musical theatre serves him well and even if the end result is more X Factor than Genesis Revisited the enthusiasm with which Howar performs is undeniably infectious.

Cover versions and a couple of newer songs aside, the rest of the set is a run through the Mechanics back catalogue jukebox of hits from the very first - 1985's 'Silent Running' - through to their last genuine chart success by way of 'Another Cup of Coffee' from a decade later. The mix of sincere ballads and slick pop rock sing-a-longs is lapped up by the sold out crowd at Symphony Hall. Rutherford remains an understated live performer, more than content to let the two vocalists share the limelight as he effortlessly switches between lead guitar, acoustic guitar and bass. The song with which the Mechanics will always be remembered for, 'The Living Years', still retains a timeless quality and Roachford's vocals are a more than capable substitute for the original.

There is a definite sense of camaraderie amongst the musicians on stage and it seems as if this latest incarnation of the Mechanics has still got many more miles on the clock.

Set List:-
A Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Another Cup of Coffee
Get Up
Try to Save Me
Seeing Is Believing
Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)
This Generation
Turn It On Again
When My Feet Don't Touch the Ground
Everybody Gets A Second Chance
Nobody's Perfect
Cuddly Toy
I Can't Dance
The Living Years
All I Need Is a Miracle
Over My Shoulder
Word of Mouth

Review by Dean Pedley

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