Review: Mike & The Mechanics - Grand Opera House York

Mike & The Mechanics
Grand Opera House 
2nd May 2011

Most people have had Saturday jobs but few have had one that has sold over 10 million records !
Mike Rutherford formed Mike & the Mechanics whilst Genesis rested.

An army of roadies crammed a stadium show into the Opera House from 8am yet remarkably this show is not a sell out by some margin possibly down to the £45 tariff.

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 precendent replacing Gabriel with a singing drummer .

Like musical royalty, 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 – acting in a Bez role, clearly elated at been given the Golden Ticket to escape the West End .

Few men could fill 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” & 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” & “I can’t dance” much to our surprise.

“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.

Mike Rutherford does not have to be here tonight – his bills are paid – this is a labour of love that is 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.

Review by Ian Donaghy