"Mechanics Live Hits" - Mike & The Mechanics Live at Sheffield City Hall, March 11, 1996, reviewed by Peter Morton.

Mike & The Mechanics have always provided an entertaining show and tonight was no exception. Once the support had played their piece, the scene was set - the famous movement of the Vari-Lites led us into the introduction of "Silent Running", this time played in its original single format. "Seeing Is Believing" came next, sung wonderfully by Paul Young. In fact, vocally both Pauls sang superbly throughout the show.

The hits continued to follow, but then this was billed as a "Greatest Hits" tour, and they were all there, plus others. "Beggar On A Beach Of Gold" still sounded as good live as it did when it opened the show on last year's tour. Also it was nice to see that the band have kept "Someone Always Hates Someone" in the set. as this really is a tour de force track with Mike at his very best!

"Another Cup Of Coffee" saw the acoustic guitars put to good use and tended to slow things down for a few minutes. However, this was soon altered as Paul Young sang the much rockier "Plain And Simple". The song that followed was also a nice surprise, Paul Carrack's "Eyes Of Blue", from his current solo album "Blue Views".

Next up was "Nobody's Perfect". Great to see this back in the live set. What followed was a medley of songs made famous by the three musicians in the band: "Every Day Hurts" by Paul Young and Sad Café; "How Long?" by Paul Carrack and Ace and "I Can't Dance" by a band whose name I just can't seem to remember...! The audience were by now well and truly on their feet enjoying every minute. "The Living Years" slowed things down a little bit and was sung by Mr Carrack with all the emotion the song deserves. "All I need Is A Miracle" finished the set with a powerful vocal from Paul Young really capturing the audience.

The encores followed: "Word of Mouth" basically continued where "...Miracle" had left off, and "Over My Shoulder" ended a great night of music. This was a hundred minutes of non-stop music where all the musicians played their part 100%.

The setlist: Silent Running / Seeing Is Believing / Get Up / Beggar On A Beach Of Gold / Someone Always Hates Someone / Web Of Lies / Another Cup Of Coffee / Plain And Simple / Eyes Of Blue / Nobody's Perfect / Every Day Hurts / How Long? / I Can't Dance / Living Years / All I Need Is A Miracle / Word Of Mouth / Over My Shoulder

Click to see full-size picture Click to see full-size picture Click to see full-size picture
Mike & The Mechanics in Sheffield
Pictures courtesy of Jon 'Armando' Guntrip/TWR