Review: Mike & The Mechanics, Ipswich Regent Thursday, March 9

Andrew Roachford, Mike Rutherford and Tim Howar from Mike & The Mechanics. Photo: Contributed

Andrew Roachford, Mike Rutherford and Tim Howar from Mike & The Mechanics. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Archant

More than 30 years after starting out life as a side project for Genesis bassist and guitarist Mike Rutherford, Mike & The Mechanics are still going strong – as evidenced by a storming set at the Ipswich Regent this evening.

The six piece band, still led by the Genesis hit-maker, treated the Ipswich faithful to a career-spanning best-of interspersed with choice cuts from new album Let Me Fly.

The Mechanics are without classic line-up vocalist Paul Young who died in 2000, but in dual vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar are in fine health for the twenty-tens.

Among the highlights of a near two hour set were an energetic rendition of Get Up, a rousing performance of classic hit The Living Years and a get-up-and-dance finale of Word of Mouth.

The newer material from the upcoming album finds Mike and the band in a reflective mood, but dropped gently among the ‘80s tunes which were the soundtrack of a generation, worked a treat.

A mid-set unplugged section was a nice breather, while soaring versions of Genesis hits Land of Confusion and I Can’t Dance (complete with THAT walk from the video) and Roachford’s own Cuddly Toy made for a thrilling span of songs.

Tim Howar was a little over-the-top with constant screams of “Ipswich!” seemingly after every chorus, which only served as a constant reminder of how un-rock ‘n’roll a name Ipswich is, but the soulful and always on point croon of Roachford coupled with Rutherford’s clean but expressive guitar lines made for an epic set of synth-filled nostalgia.

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The sound was excellent - particularly given the difficulties of having two main vocalists and two keyboards, and was never put off by the instrument swaps or acoustic portion, but perhaps most remarkably is how the band remains such a force after all these years.

Time may not be on their side much these days, but while they continue in their own living years Mike & The Mechanics have proved why they are worthy of their legendary status.