Categories audio VIDEOS

Audio: Mike + The Mechanics live on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show


Photo via BBC Radio 2

Mike + The Mechanics performed live on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 Friday, March 17th. The four songs they played were “Silent Running”, the new single “Don’t Know What Came Over Me”, “The Living Years” and a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day”.

You can listen to the broadcast on iPlayer and watch a video of their performance of “Lovely Day” up until April 15th.

Photo via BBC Radio 2

Categories live photos reviews tours

Review: Mike + The Mechanics UK Tour 2017


Photo © Stuart Barnes

Review by Katherine Stratton for MR Net, photos by Stuart Barnes.

One would think that as the owner of a Mike Rutherford fan site, I would have years of Mechanics shows under my belt. In actual fact, this tour was my first live Mechanics experience, and what an experience it was. Over the course of a week I was fortunate enough to get to see the band three times, at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru, the Liverpool Philharmonic and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, with the only disappointment being the postponing of the Leicester show due to Storm Doris and some inconveniently aggressive roof tiles on the De Montfort Hall meaning it was too dangerous to enter the venue.

Opening the evening on this tour is Ben McKelvey, whose previous outing on tour had been as support for The Overtones. While his set-up was minimal, just Ben and an acoustic guitar accompanied by percussionist Marc Danecker on the cajón, he did not need more in order to easily deliver a performance that was intense and immensely enjoyable. His style is reminiscent of acts like Stereophonics or Jake Bugg with songs about, to quote his album title, life and love in England. “Only Here Once” and “Stay Young” were definite favourites, but all of his songs were memorable. In addition to his excellent presence as a musician, Ben did well to keep the banter up with Marc and the audience between songs, including a well-handled moment when he had technical difficulties during the Nottingham show. They were certainly good enough to make me not want to miss them on any of the nights I was there, and succeeded in getting the well-sized crowd good and ready for the main event.


Photo © Stuart Barnes

That moment finally came half an hour or so later when, to the sound of a low hum interspersed with shouts and applause, the Mechanics took their places.

The set opened with “Are You Ready”, a strong, rousing song from their new album, Let Me Fly. Tim Howar is a natural frontman, and from the beginning you can see why they call him Tim “The Power” Howar. His voice is commanding and impressive, and he easily engages the room. There is something in the sentiment of this opening song, which deals with rekindling a relationship and taking a chance on starting again, which on reflection feels appropriate as an introduction to the evening and eventually to the band’s new material.


Photo © Stuart Barnes

We were then settled in with a few trusted hits – “Another Cup of Coffee”, “Get Up” and “Silent Running”. The only shame about seated venues like these is that while you may want to “get up” (and it’s difficult not to, especially when Anto Drennan really gets going on guitar), it’s still a bit early in the night to be blocking someone’s view. All the same, the songs were as solid as ever and the audience energy was certainly mounting as it came time for the next offerings from the new album.

Andrew Roachford took the spotlight (literally) for “Save the World”, a soulful ballad that is the kind of song only Andrew can deliver so brilliantly. A lovely addition to this number was a delicate acoustic solo from Mike, which elicited a few cheers from the audience. We were then back to another upbeat song, where the hopeful theme of “Are You Ready” was reprised by Tim in the irresistibly catchy “The Best Is Yet To Come”.


Photo © Stuart Barnes

The first deviation from Mechanics material of the night was to a number by Mike’s “old school band”, Genesis. Tim did a cracking job of “Land of Confusion”, which went down very well and got the audience participating.

At this point drummer Gary Wallis was invited to the front of the stage for an ‘unplugged’ interlude where we heard two more new songs, “High Life” and “Wonder”, both of which fit easily into the Mechanics catalogue. For me, this segment was one of the highlights of each night. Tim’s vocals on the quirky yet serious “High Life” were charming, while Andrew’s warmth and compassion on the smoother “Wonder” left me feeling a bit teary-eyed.

It was then time for the big one from the new album, the title track “Let Me Fly”. Mike himself has said this one is his favourite, and it’s easy to hear why. The version we get here is slightly stripped down (the album version will feature a backing choir, as have live festival performances that I’ve heard), but the power is still all there in Andrew’s voice. No one does this big, stirring sound quite like the Mechanics, and as it ended I found myself feeling like I needed a moment to recover.


Photo © Stuart Barnes


I ended up doing so during the next song, “Beggar on a Beach of Gold”. On the back of those three spectacular new tracks, I was surprised to find that “Beggar” felt almost ordinary in comparison. It was still great, but for me it was that moment I needed to catch my breath between what I had just heard, and the song that was about to kick us all into a higher gear, the classic from the Roachford files, “Cuddly Toy”.

“Cuddly Toy” is just plain fun, and it’s difficult not to smile as Andrew works the crowd. By the end of it, everyone was worked up and ready as Mike took centre stage to slam out the riff of “I Can’t Dance”. The playful tone that started during “Cuddly Toy” continued as Mike and Tim played off of one another, smiling their way through the famous walk.

The rest of the set was crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser, with “Over My Shoulder” leading into a sing-along version of “All I Need is a Miracle”. Everyone remained standing as they awaited the encore, which featured Andrew’s gorgeous rendition of “The Living Years” and Tim’s indomitable treatment of “Word of Mouth”. It was really nice to hear each member of the band take a moment to show off their skills at the end, particularly in the case of Luke Juby whose expert contribution to the band goes much further than his whistling solo during “Shoulder”. Gary Wallis is a powerhouse, to the point where it’s almost exhausting to watch him. I also enjoyed Anto Drennan’s little nod to The Adventures of Robin Hood during the Nottingham show.


Photo © Stuart Barnes

Overall, this was a set that was perfectly paced. At no point did it feel there was a lull, which can often happen when an audience is unsure of a band’s new material. I was also pleased to remark that no one talked during the new songs at any of the shows I attended. The balance of slower to faster songs, new material to classics, Mechanics to Genesis to Roachford, was precisely appropriate.

The joy of seeing this band is not solely down to the superb song writing and performances, but also in seeing and hearing how much you can tell they enjoy playing together. There is a lot of laughter and camaraderie on display, which makes you feel like you are a part of something special. The new songs have a quality that is reminiscent of the Mechanics back catalogue, but without ever being a pastiche. This is a band that’s found its new voice(s), and come back with confidence and strength.

At the end of each night I found that the songs I had stuck in my head were not the old hits at all, but what will hopefully be the new ones.

The tour of the UK continues throughout the month of March. For dates and tickets, visit The new album Let Me Fly is available now for pre-order, and will be released on April 7.


Are You Ready?
Another Cup of Coffee
Get Up
Silent Running
Save the World
The Best Is Yet To Come
Land of Confusion
High Life
Let Me Fly
A Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Cuddly Toy
I Can’t Dance
Over My Shoulder
All I Need is a Miracle

The Living Years
Word of Mouth

Categories live

Mike + The Mechanics to support Phil Collins in Dublin on 25 June

matmphildublinMike + The Mechanics have added another date in support of Phil Collins this summer. The Mechanics, as well as Blondie, will be appearing at Phil’s show on June 25th in Dublin, Ireland. Tickets are on sale now.

The Mechanics will also be opening for Phil at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park on June 30th. Tickets for that event are available here.

Categories andrew roachford live

Andrew Roachford solo tour dates for Autumn 2017

Andrew Roachford has announced a series of UK tour dates for the end of the year, beginning in October. Tickets are available through the links below or for more information visit



Atkinson Theatre
O2 Academy3
O2 Academy2
The Brook
Gateway Theatre


2  Thursday Live Rooms CHESTER
3  Friday Library Theatre DARWEN
4  Saturday The Venue SELBY
10  Friday O2 Academy2 NEWCASTLE
11  Saturday Oran Mor GLASGOW
12  Sunday The Assembly ABERDEEN
17  Friday Fruit HULL
18  Saturday Waterfront Studio NORWICH
19  Sunday Con Club LEWES
24  Friday St. John’s Church FARNCOMBE
25  Saturday O2 Academy Islington LONDON


1  Friday Academy 3 MANCHESTER
2  Saturday Esquires BEDFORD
7  Thursday Villa Marina ISLE OF MAN
Categories live

Mike + The Mechanics announced as part of line-up for The 80s Cruise 2018

83754Mike + The Mechanics will be taking part in 2018’s 80s Cruise, hosted by Rick Springfield. Other confirmed acts include Loverboy, ex-Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm, and The Tubes.

The cruise will run from March 17-March 24 2018, departing from  Ft. Lauderdale, FL on March 17  and calling at Nassau, the Bahamas; St. Thomas; Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; and CocoCay in the Bahamas before returning to port on March 24.

In addition to concerts, the cruise will feature themed parties, autograph and Q&A sessions, a celebrity poker tournament, and more.

For more information and for bookings, please visit the 80s Cruise website.

Categories features live tours

Series: Collecting the Mechanics Part 2: Live Recordings

A new year, and a new installment of our series on Collecting the Mechanics. This month, Alan Hewitt takes us through the Mechanics’ touring history with a selection of standout audio and video recordings. Where possible, we have tried to add links to clips from the videos that are mentioned.

Words and photos by Alan Hewitt of The Waiting Room.


From L to R: Zurich 1989 (photo by G Truffer), Manchester 1995 (photo by J Guntrip), Schaan 2016 (photo by D Konrad)

Continuing the look at the various aspects of collecting which are associated with the band, we now look at the various live and studio performances which the band have made over the years. As you may imagine, this is perhaps one of the most fertile areas of endeavour for a collector and what follows is by no means an exhaustive listing of the material that is available in this field, but more of a taster to whet your appetites, if you will. So, here, tour by tour and album by album is a look at some of this fascinating material…

Continue reading Series: Collecting the Mechanics Part 2: Live Recordings

Categories fans features singles

Series: Collecting the Mechanics Part 1: The Singles

Here at MR Net, it is always our pleasure to get to feature articles and reviews from other fans. Over the coming months we will be sharing a short series of features on the collecting aspect of fandom.

Words and photos by Alan Hewitt of The Waiting Room.


Another Cup Of Coffee/The Living Years-How Long-Every Day Hurts (Medley) UK single with art box (1995)

Fans are a peculiar lot, aren’t they?  Whatever you are a fan of, there are so many areas in which you can exercise your desire to be the ultimate anorak.  If you are a music fan, then there are perhaps even more than average opportunities for anorak-y behaviour and these features will demonstrate a couple of those for you here.

Fans of the Mechanics have had no shortage of interesting bits and pieces to collect over the years, not least in terms of singles, and I will place the emphasis here on the UK output by the band simply because I have never collected overseas variants of releases,  mainly because they have never (with one exception which is included here for completeness’ sake) contained any material which has not been available in the UK and although they are often housed in very attractive sleeves, it is the music that matters here at TWR HQ.

Continue reading Series: Collecting the Mechanics Part 1: The Singles

Categories fans photos reviews tours

Review: Mike + the Mechanics in Zoetermeer

At the weekend, fan Bryan Daniels was on the scene in Zoetermeer for the final show of the Mechanics’ 2016 European tour. Here is his perspective on the show that marked the six year anniversary of the band’s first performance together.


Tim and Mike in Zoetermeer

Text and photos by Bryan Daniels

On Sunday I decided on a whim to go on a 1,000 mile round trip to Zoetermeer, to catch the last show on The Mechanics’ European tour. It could have been easier a week before, but I was prevented from getting to the German gigs, so this was the only chance.

My charming companion on the trip is an experienced Mechanics-hunter and knows when and where the guys were likely to be during the build-up to the gig. Useful for photos and autographs! Since the guys had partied the night before to see in Mike’s 66th birthday, they looked a bit the worse for wear in the afternoon.


Bryan with Andrew

Luke and Tim were bleary-eyed but very talkative, Anto and Andrew were a little monosyllabic. Mike had other obligations and showed up a lot later, and when he did, was in a hurry to get into the venue. But he promised to come out again, and true to his word, gave a few autographs and chatted with the fans. Among other things, he revealed his true height (ed. note: 6’3, or 191cm!)

The concert itself was brilliant. Anyone who expects a Genesis replacement at a Mechanics gig will be disappointed, but there are plenty of Genesis cover bands, so no-one should go without. What Mike + the Mechanics offer is tightly-played, quality pop. And fun. No, make that FUN. Musically, they gel better and better from year to year. Mike is getting more relaxed every year, and to my untrained ear, he seems to subtly overhaul his guitar parts in between tours, to give the old standards a new feel. The set list is a matter of record, but it’s shown below for those living in the dark ages.


They began with Get Up, allowing Tim to get the crowd going. There are quite a few reasons I love this venue; it’s very compact, wherever you are, the stage isn’t far. (Front row is anyway hard to top, and that is what we had). It’s all standing (as were all the European venues, according to Luke) so the bouncing is a given from the word go. The crowd is very knowledgeable, there aren’t really any casual fans who come by chance, so the level of audience participation is great. Another Cup of Coffee gave Tim a showcase for his softer vocals (normally Andrew’s domain) but it was easy to see what a great front man he is, as he made eye contact with one lady after another, leaving each feeling they’d been personally drawn into the show.

The hits were better than ever and the two newer songs “Are You Ready” and the title track of the next album “Let Me Fly” seem to bode well for the newer material. My companion had already speculated “I bet [Tim] composed his new vocal song” and she was bang on. Tim said after the gig that he and Mike had co-composed “Are You Ready” with Clark Datchler. It sounds lyrically deeper than anything on The Road and it was clear that Tim enjoys being a part of the song’s origin. He took on a new empathy with the lyrics, which he probably can’t do so easily when he’s covering the material of the two Pauls.


Andrew’s new track “Let Me Fly” stood up to the old grey whistle test too. Mike was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” more than once and he shared the fact that the band’s rebirth started with a gig exactly six years earlier. The set list seems quite short, but they played almost 2 hours, and no-one can complain about not getting value for their 38 Euros. On a personal note, I got autographs of the whole band, photos with most, Mike personally gave me his own plectrum from the stage, and the printed set list, which was stuck on the stage, also disappeared in my pocket. So I left Holland well happy at having made the decision to hit Boerderij at the last minute.

Set list:

Get Up
Another Cup of Coffee
Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Silent Running
Are You Ready
Try to Save
Let Me Fly
Land of Confusion
Cuddly Toy
I Can’t Dance
Living Years
All I Need is a Miracle
Over My Shoulder
Word of Mouth