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Mike and The Mechanics

April 2011

THERE were never any plans for Mike and The Mechanics to return. Then again, there weren’t any plans for the Genesis reunion either. “Looking back over most of my career, I’ve never made long terms,” says Mike Rutherford, who created Mike and The Mechanics in 1984 as a side project for when Genesis were idle.
“I think it’s why Genesis lasted so long. We’d do an album and that was it. With long-term plans people worry about things too much.”
That said, he’d thought Mike and The Mechanics were done with after the release of their last album, 2004’s Rewired.
“After Paul Young died,” he says of the former Sad Café singer who suffered a fatal heart attack in 2000, “I did one more album with Paul Carrack and it wasn’t the best album. I think we’d lost something there in the chemistry. It was average, not good enough really. So I thought we’d stopped.”
But then he was asked by a friend, Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Rawlings, what The Mechanics were doing.
“He suggested we go back to the format of the first album, using four or five singers, different writers. I thought ‘what is there to lose?’”
That was at the end of 2009 and the result, The Road, is released this month, featuring new vocalists Andrew Roachford, who had the hits Cuddly Toy and The Way That I Feel in the late 90s with his band Roachford, and Canadian born actor and singer Tim Howar, who played Rod Stewart in the West End musical Tonight’s The Night.
The pair are now a permanent fixture in the band.
“We’ve always had two singers,” says Rutherford.
Originally that was Paul Young and Paul Carrack and with them Mike and The Mechanics sold more than 10 million records worldwide, including the hits Silent Running, All I Need Is A Miracle, Over My Shoulder and The Living Years, the latter written by Carrack.
“Carrack does a lot of solo stuff now, he felt it was time to move on, I think,” says Rutherford.
Although he’s not committing to another Mechanics, he suggests it is likely.
“In the early days we’d alternate; we’d do a Mechanics album, then a Genesis.
“But there are no plans for any more Genesis. And the kind of band we have now, it’d be great to start an album with them. They weren’t really on board at the start of making The Road. They sort of came along while I was already on the journey.”
No plans for Genesis? But that doesn’t rule out another jaunt around the world which he, Phil Collins and Tony Banks spent much of 2007 doing.
“I really enjoyed it,” says Rutherford of the tour. The last time we’d toured was around 1993 so it was nice to be able to appreciate it.” He adds: “I’ve said never say never for years, because who knows? I don’t really believe in making sweeping statements.
“Phil’s got problems with his wrist but who knows in a few years’ time.”

Royal Concert Hall, May 5, £40/£35, 0115 989 5555,

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