Mike & The Mechanics “Word of Mouth” Tour 2017 stopped off at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh tonight as part of its 32 date run, and simply gave their fans who packed out the theatre a show to remember as the band played their way through their extensive back catalogue and new material from the new album “Let Me Fly” which is officially released on April 7th (although copies are available on the tour).
As any fan will tell you, the band currently consists of a core trio of Genesis founding member Mike Rutherford (guitar), one of the UK’s most prolific R&B singers, Andrew Roachford (lead and backing vocals) and Canadian-born singer, Tim Howar (lead and backing vocals), and the combination of all three of these musicians with their very different contributions to the band’s sound make an interesting musical blend. Possibly the most obvious on-stage contrast is the difference in vocal styles between Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar, and here it works so well as the music of Mike & The Mechanics is made up of so many diverse styles.
I have to admit here and now that most of the audience would have been much more familiar than myself with the band’s back catalogue of music and Mike’s days in Genesis as, at the time some of these songs first came out, I was looking in a completely different musical direction. The band have over the years since their formation back in 1985 had many successful hits and the show was at times for me a bit like saying “yes, remember that one too…”. Perhaps that is one of the qualities of a band that write songs as good as these – you listen to them and absorb them into your musical background without even realising it.
I always refrain from giving entire set-lists away in any review as there has to be that element of surprise for anyone planning to go to a later show, but I am giving nothing away here by telling you that huge hits like “Silent Running”, “All I Need is A Miracle”, and “The Living Years” are in the set. “The Living Years” still always sounds to me like there should be a Gospel Choir singing in the background. Nice too to hear “Beggar on a Beach of Gold” again.
As you would guess, Mike Rutherford is also taking a little trip down his musical memory lane and revisiting some Genesis material. That little surprise I am keeping for people still to go to catch up with the band on this tour.
Also good to see and hear Andrew Roachford cut loose with a re-visit to his “Roachford” days and a classic R&B/soul performance of “Cuddly Toy”.
Of course, there is the new album to promote, and songs like “Save the World” and the title track “Let Me Fly” clearly show that the band are still writing skilfully woven songs (both lyrically and musically).
Making up our full band - Gary Wallis on drums, Anthony Drennan on guitar and Luke Juby on keyboards and guitar.
This was simply an impressive outing by a very very tight band giving their audience exactly what they wanted. The band are not travelling lightly on this tour either, they have brought one very serious stage lighting and sound set with them.
Full tour dates, and the new album are available from
Opening the shows on this 32 date tour for the band is singer songwriter Ben McKelvey . There is a separate review for Ben at
Ben McKelvey The Festival Theatre Edinburgh Sunday 19th March
Review by Tom King