Mike and the Mechanics Sage Gateshead 20 April 2023

mike tixMike Rutherford has come a long way since I sat cross-legged on the ballroom floor in Sunderland Locarno watching Peter Gabriel and the rest of Genesis unfold magical tales such as “The Musical Box”, “Return of the Giant Hogweed” and climaxing in the rather spooky, swirling tones of “The Knife”. Somewhere in the background keeping the beat was the tall slender form of Mike Rutherford. And of course he also co-wrote the material. Roll forward 52 years and I have the pleasure of being in the company of Mike Rutherford once again, this time as front man and leader of Mike And The Mechanics, a band I have never, to my shame, witnessed before. At my time of life, I have decided to try and see as many people as possible including bands I have foolishly passed on previously.

mike4The announcement on the Sage website told me: “Mike & The Mechanics who have sold over ten million records worldwide – announce their  ‘Refueled! 2023 Tour – all the hits and a drop of Genesis.” Now the mention of a drop of Genesis intrigued me and further enticed me to attend the show.

mike2The website went on to introduce the band: “Mike + The Mechanics are Genesis founding member Mike Rutherford (Guitar) – one of the UK’s most prolific R&B singer, Andrew Roachford – Lead and backing vocals – (whose previous hits include Cuddly Tour and Family Man) and Canadian-born singer, Tim Howar – lead and backing vocals – who formed and toured with his band Vantramp, with the likes of Rod Stewart and Paulo Nutini. Tim shares vocal duties with Roachford and they both add a new soulful dimension to the band’s already established sound.” In fact the band also included, in another drop of Genesis, Phil Collins’ son Nic Collins on drums.

mike1Finally, I was promised: “The ‘Refueled!’ Tour in 2023, will include tracks from their critically acclaimed latest album ‘Out of the Blue’ plus some Genesis.  Their ninth album features re-workings of some of the band’s best loved tracks, including  ‘The Living Years’ and the unforgettable  ‘Over My Shoulder’, along with three brand new songs: ‘Out Of The Blue’, ‘One Way’, ‘What Would You Do’.”

The show is in two parts with a short interval. Set 1 consists of some new Mechanics material along with some more familiar. Also a hint of Genesis creeps in in the form of “Jesus He Knows Me”. The closing song is “Silent Running”. A great opening set.
mike3Set 2 starts off with some acoustic versions of familiar songs including the Genesis hit “Invisible Touch”. We move forward and back into an electric set with more Genesis in the form of “Follow You, Follow Me” and “I Can’t Dance”. Great versions of great songs.The band is excellent with exceptionally strong vocals from the duo of Tim Howart and Andrew Roachford.

mike5Roachford gets to sing his massive hit “Cuddly Toy” and then we move forward and towards the end with the wonderful, moving epic that is “The Living Years”, “All I Need Is a Miracle” and closer “Over My Shoulder”. The band return to a standing ovation and play a much deserved encore: “Word of Mouth”.
Throughout the evening’s proceedings the mighty Mike Rutherford stands quietly leading his band forwards through a wide-ranging set of classic songs that he has written with colleagues over the years. Now wouldn’t it be great if they had finished with “The Knife”. I can but dream


Set 1 Get Up; A Beggar on a Beach of Gold; Another Cup of Coffee; Are You Ready; Try to Save Me; Jesus He Knows Me; Let Me Fly; The Best Is Yet to Come; Silent Running;

Set 2 Wonder; Invisible Touch; Don’t Know What Came Over Me; Everybody Gets a Second Chance; Follow You Follow Me; I Can’t Dance; Cuddly Toy; The Living Years; All I Need Is a Miracle; Over My Shoulder.

Encore: Word of Mouth

2 responses to this post.

  1. Good review, Peter.
    That’s some setlist!!
    (BTW It’s NIC Collins, not Simon 😉)

    The last time that I saw Rutherford was at Newcastle City Hall back in April ’75 when Genesis toured “The Lamb…” – what a night that was!
    Like you, I have tickets for this tour; I’ll catch him at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on the 8th and am very much looking forward to it.

    Roger 👍


    • Posted by vintagerock on April 27, 2023 at 11:05 am

      Hi Roger glad you enjoyed my review. Thank you for the correction; I will edit my blog accordingly. You will enjoy the show I am sure happy days Peter


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