MIKE AND THE MECHANICS // THE ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW
Mike And The Mechanics roll into Glasgow on the looking back (over my shoulder) tour
The Royal Concert Hall played host to a true supergroup on Friday 1st March as Mike Rutherford brought his mechanics to entertain the Glasgow crowd.
The Royal Concert Hall plays host to all sorts of musical genres and, at first, seems a strange choice for Rock based music but in my experience it never fails. The venue was designed and built for good listening and not for sheer volume. It’s loud enough to know that you are at a gig but so loud that you have ringing in your ears for days afterwards. This is a definite bonus for the crowd tonight as, for the most part, they were there for the genesis of Mike and the Mechanics.
Formed in 1985 by Mike Rutherford the band have had huge Worldwide success and not all based on the Rutherford/Genesis connection. There have been a few comings and goings with band members and in 2010 Andrew Roachford and Tim Howarth joined the group as vocalists.
Howarth is known for playing the lead in West End shows and, in fact, had just finished Phantom of the Opera whilst Roachford is remembered for such classics as Cuddly Toy.
The Concert Hall is packed and is such an impressive sight with fantastic sight lines to the stage and staff who are always helpful. The stage set is comprised of the usual instrumentation and there are four gigantic hot air balloons suspended above the stage with graphics on them that represent the history of the band.
There is no support act for the show with the band preferring to play their set in two halves with a short break in between.
The band take to the stage shortly after 7:30 to rapturous applause and get straight into things by playing ‘The Best is Yet to Come’. This is indicative of the evening’s entertainment as the band are tight, well rehearsed and it is immaculately played. The whole evening will be a masterclass in musicianship.
Andrew Roachford sits behind his keyboard to play the ‘Another Cup of Coffee’ and the Glasgow crowd show their appreciation in the way Glasgow audiences tend to do when they like you.
The quality on show continues and the Roachford / Howar vocal combination continues to stunning effect whilst, almost unnoticed, Rutherford switches between guitar and bass to further showcase the skills of the band.
The sound is good, the lights are good, the stage set is good – its ALL good; but its about to get better. The first of many absolute delights in the set is ‘Land of Confusion’ and the crowd are off their seats. There is a huge reception for this track and the Glasgow audience comes into it’s own. The band look genuinely amazed by the crowd reaction to this classic song.
The feelgood factor is turned up a notch when Roachford steps out from behind his keyboard and launches into his signature tune ‘Cuddly Toy’. The volume from the crowd is turned up to 11 and the band members are interacting with each other as if to reinforce how much they are enjoying themselves.
This is followed by many well crafted and well played songs which the audience is loving. Howar, in particular, is playing the crowd and declares his love for Scotland and his family ties to the country.
Just before the band and the crowd get a well earned rest and a short interval they play a track from the album. ‘Out of the Blue’ is a slow song and probably on the set to showcase new material and get heart rates of the audience back down!
After a break of about 30 minutes the band return to perform a short acoustic set consisting of 4 tracks. There were some nice bits in this section including a rework of the Genesis classic ‘Follow You Follow Me’ as well as a cracking saxophone solo during Everybody Gets a Second Chance.
You could kinda sense that there was going to be a big ending to the set and they didn’t disappoint.
The band members returned to their stations and full instrumentation was resumed with ‘Silent Running’ followed by ‘Get Up’ and the crowd are back on their feet.
‘Living Years’ is an absolute classic of a song and was played and sung perfectly by the band and the audience before the bedlam that was ‘I Can’t Dance’! This was special – we had audience members and band members performing ‘the dance’ from the video that accompanied the Genesis original. We had people jumping and dancing along at their seats; we had singing at the top their collective lungs. It’s safe to say that this one went down a storm!
It’s time for the band and crowd to have a rest; or is it? ‘All I Need is a Miracle’ is next up and the crowd participation starts over again in what must have been a labour of love for some of the older members of the crowd.
The time that fans hate at a great gig has now arrived and the last song is ‘Over My Shoulder’. The band could go on for hours as they are loving it. Howar, in particular, has whipped the audience into a frenzy but the gig has to end at some point. There is huge ovation at the end of the song.
The house lights don’t come on so the majority of the audience know that Mike and the boys will be back on soon to show their appreciation by playing an encore; and what an encore it is! A 15 minute version of ‘Word of Mouth’ where every band member plays a long solo including Roachford working vocals and keys to Stevie Wonder’s Superstition into the song and Rutherford playing some Hendrix!
With that, the evening comes to an end and there can’t be a disappointed person in the venue. Even if this was the first time you had heard the band you must have been impressed.
SETLIST: | MIKE AND THE MECHANICS : ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW - 01.03.2019
The Best Is Yet to Come
Another Cup of Coffee
A Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Try to Save Me
Let Me Fly
Ion - (Genesis cover)
Cuddly Toy - (Roachford cover)
Out of the Blue
Follow You Follow Me - (Genesis cover) - [Acoustic]
Don’t Know What Came Over Me - [Acoustic]
What Would You Do - [Acoustic]
Everybody Gets a Second Chance - [Acoustic]
The Living Years
I Can’t Dance - (Genesis cover)
All I Need Is a Miracle
Over My Shoulder
Word of Mouth