When you mention the band Mike & the Mechanics, most people think of ‘The Living Years’ and ‘Over My Shoulder’ and stop there. The band has a very unfair ‘Coffee Morning’ label amongst the ill-informed or the far too ignorant to find out more.

What you get with this band is a magnificent set list and musicianship of the highest level. Add to that the fun that the band is clearly having with each other and the crowd, and it makes for a superb evening out!

The show was billed as ‘All The Hits With A Drop Of Genesis,” and that is exactly what the 3/4-full Symphony Hall crowd were treated to. The band got the show started with ‘Get Up’, ‘Beggar On A Beach Of Gold,” and ‘Another Cup Of Coffee,” which perfectly showed off the immense vocal talents of vocalists Tim Howar and Andrew Roachford.

It wasn’t long before the first ‘Drop of Genesis’ was wheeled out with a fantastic version of ‘Jesus He Knows Me,” with co-frontman Tim Howar hamming up the part of the TV evangelist perfectly.

We headed towards the interval with the stunning ‘Silent Running,” which still sounds as epic and impressive as it did the first time I heard it back in 1985. After a short recess, the band came back on to deliver a faultless acoustic set that included excerpts of ‘Invisible Touch’, ‘Nobody’s Perfect,” and ‘Follow You, Follow Me’.

We were then into the home straight of the main set, which kicked off with the 1990s Genesis tune ‘I Can’t Dance,” followed by the best version I’ve seen of Roachford’s ‘Cuddly Toy,” and I’ve seen that song performed a lot over the last 35 years. Andrew Roachford was on stunning form, enjoying the spotlight so much so that he ended up telling us 23 times to feel for him… It was a simply breathtaking version.

We were treated to a real masterclass of ‘Mechanics’ hits with the lump in the throat ‘The Living Years’, the uptempo classic “All I Need Is A Miracle,” and the pure singalong joy of ‘Over My Shoulder’ before the band left the stage to a well-deserved standing ovation.

The band returned for the encore of an extended version of ‘Word of Mouth,” which allowed all the band members to show off their individual talents, which they did with some aplomb, before Tim Howar led the crowd in a proper full-on, swaying action singalong to bring this momentous evening to a close.

The band took the applause before leaving Commander in Chief Mike Rutherford to take a final bow on his own centre stage, a lovely touch and worthy of the great man. It was a stunning performance from Mike & The Mechanics tonight in Birmingham. I’ve seen the band on many occasions, but I have to say that this is the best I’ve ever seen them.

I’ve got to give Nic Collins a special mention. This lad just gets better and better each time I see him. I first saw him in 2017 with his dad, twice with Genesis in 2021, and now with M&TM. He is a top-notch player (as proved by his splendid drum solo, which showed his full array of skills) who just adds a whole new level of energy to whoever he plays with!

There are some dates left on this tour; if they are playing near you, grab a ticket. You will flippin’ love it!

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