REVIEW: Mike & The Mechanics, Sheffield City Hall

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MIKE & The Mechanics were always more than a mere side project for Mike Rutherford of super-group Genesis fame. And the latest incarnation of the group proves it continues to be his labour of love.

Rutherford has assembled a new band with an eye to the past and to the future. They played a storming set of the Mechanics’ many hits, including Over My Shoulder and The Living Years, as well as material from the new album, The Road. There was even a nod to Genesis, with a version of Rutherford’s Follow You, Follow Me and Phil Collins’ I Can’t Dance. With Collins stating that Genesis is no more after an injury preventing him from ever playing drums, this was a welcome tribute.

The band were well-served by the powerful dual-vocal lead provided by Andrew Roachford - who was justifiably tipped for stardom in the late 1980s - and Tim Howar, making a career shift from his successes in musical theatre.

The Mechanics won rapturous applause from their many life-long fans, liberally mixed with more recent converts including one seven-year-old. People were stood and swaying their arms from early in the set, under orders from the 1993-hit Get Up.

Support act Scarlette Fever played a strong set, memorably including debut single Crash And Burn and a cover of Alanis Morissette’s Hand In My Pocket. Singer-songwriter Karen Louise Barrow can belt out a song with the best of them.