“The Travelling Mechanic” - Mike & The Mechanics’ live sets examined by Alan Hewitt. Memorabilia: TWR Archive.
With the impending new album by Mike & The Mechanics I thought it was time to look at the shows he has put together outside of Genesis.
Before he began with the Mechanics project, Mike had released two solo albums: Smallcreep’s Day (1980) and Acting Very Strange (1982). However, either due to his commitments with Genesis or perhaps doubts to the strength of the material in a live context, no live shows were put together for either of these albums.
However, after the release of the first Mechanics album in 1985 and with a break before Genesis were to embark on their mammoth Invisible Touch tour, Mike decided to venture out on a solo tour with the rest of the Mechanics. The tour took in the USA only and ran through June and early July 1986.
For the tour the band consisting of Mike on guitars and basses, Paul Carrack on keyboards and vocals, Paul Young on vocals and percussion , Ashley Mulford on guitar, AdrianLee on keyboards and Peter Van Hooke on drums. The set was mainly drawn from their first album with a coupe of extra tracks thrown in and usually ran as follows: Hanging By A Thread/Half Way There/Silent Running/Taken In/I Don’t Wanna Know/Maxine/Par Avion/A Call To Arms/Tempted/I Get The Feeling/Take The Reins/All I Need Is A Miracle/Gimme Some Lovin’.
As can be seen, Mike actually did put a couple of tracks from the Acting Very Strange album into the set and they were ably covered by the band. The tour was very well received by the audiences and the critics which was certainly a change for anyone connected to Genesis these days! This was also a chance for Mike to stretch his talents within the framework of a different band set up than Genesis.
Fans in the UK and Europe were to have a further three year wait before they got the chance to see the Mechanics in action and by then the band had produced their second album: The Living Years which was to achieve success worldwide. The tour was to be an extensive one and would cover most of Europe, the UK and a further pass through the USA running from February until the end of April
As usual, the set drew heavily from the new LP and generally ran as follows: Nobody’s Perfect/Seeing Is Believing/Silent Running/Don’t/Nobody Knows/Hanging By A Thread/Why Me?/Taken In/Beautiful Day/Black & Blue/Par Avion/A Call To Arms/The Living Years/I Get The Feeling/Take The Reins/All I Need Is A Miracle/Poor Boy Down.