“Round Two with The Mechanics” - Andrew Wards reports for TWR from the "Let Me Fly" album launch party at The Imperial, The Basement, 4 Pentonville Road, London on Monday 27th March 2017.
First and foremost, THANK YOU to Jo Greenwood for putting me on the guest list for this event. Secondly, apologies to Steve “Pud” Jones for singling you out for my “please can you show me who Jo Greenwood is?” entreaty. And last, and possibly least, apologies to Alan for stepping out of line! (Yes Andrew, you can get up off your knees now - AH).
|I decided to take the stairs down to the basement bar venue unlike Jodie Oliver-Howar and friend who were enjoying the aluminium slide from the entrance foyer down to the basement below. I walked into what was essentially a bar full of strangers and to begin with, recognised just one face; “Pud” who introduced me to Mike back in 2015. He kindly found Jo and introduced us and I then got a drink from the bar and some nibbles from the passing staff with trays full of goodies. Then I ambled around the room in something of a trance; ooh, look there’s the legendary Tony Smith; wow, that’s Angie Rutherford; here’s Luke Juby checking his mobile etc… I believe most of the attendees were Press/Radio/TV and Record Company, hence why I didn’t know any of them!|
A compere chap took to the little stage at one end of the room an introduced Mike, Andrew and Tim for a Q & A. as is now familiar from the recent round of interviews and appearances, Mike explained things like the change in the writing process, his new collaborators and the focus of the strength of the songs. He said his favourite new song is probably Let Me Fly and commented on the Gospel choir element, comparing it with The Living Years. He also praised the new line up and said that h the change of vocalists hadn’t presented any problems, giving a nod and a wink to the fact that he had changed singers before… with his previous band ! He referred to a couple of dates in the USA (which you can read about elsewhere in this edition - AH) as well as the European dates layer this year an also said how good it was to be involved with supporting Phil at a couple of his shows in the summer.
There was then a short break before the guys came out to play a blistering set of five new songs and one old one: The Best is Yet To Come, Let Me Fly, I Don’t Know What Came Over Me, High Life, Save The World and Over My Shoulder.
This was the “pub gig” from heaven. I was up close and personal with Mike & The Mechanics barely ten feet away from where they were playing, in a room of perhaps one hundred people - WOW! And as Pete Feenstra reported in his review on the Get Ready To Rock website: “they finish with a bang, as Over My Shoulder sparks unfettered excitement in the crowd, with mass outbreaks of wild improvised dancing and celebratory punches in the air”
I found Jo to thank her and made my way out buzzing.
The tube and train journeys and the walk back to the car prior to the drive back down to Devon, getting home in the early hours, were all done in something of a Mechanics-inspired daze; thanks guys!