"A Mechanical Kick Start!" - Mike & The Mechanics live at the Hanover Grand Club, London, Monday, May 10, 1999. Review by Alan Hewitt.
This gig was actually a warm-up performance for the band's forthcoming UK tour and as such I was lucky to be one of the invited "guests" who attended it. It was a strange experience attending a gig by the band for a new album which won't be released officially until half way through the tour, but having been lucky enough to secure an advance copy, I had no doubts that tonight's gig was going to be special.
The band walked on stage to thunderous applause and opened the set with the classic " Beggar On A Beach Of Gold"which got the proceedings off to a suitably raucous start. Mike and the two Pauls looked comfortable and relaxed as they upped the tempo with "Get Up, a raunchy number which has always been a great live track. The first of the new material appeared next in the shape of the lovely ballad "Ordinary Girl" and Paul Young's vocals certainly did the song justice and it was listened to with rapt attention by the capacity audience.
The forthcoming single was next up, and "Now That You Have Gone" is a feisty little number which sounds even better live than it does on the album, and will no doubt be a huge success when it is released. Another "oldie" followed with the evergreen "Another Cup Of Coffee" which elicited cheers from the crowd who were by now totally mesmerised by this performance. The band then treated the crowd to a healthy slice of new material, beginning with "Whenever I Stop" which is another fine example of the class song writing that is one of the band's strong points, and kudos here to Paul Carrack's vocal delivery which was SUPERB!
"My Little Island" and "All The Light I Need" displayed the talents of the band and were well received by the crowd. The now obligatory 'history' section followed with the medley of tracks from the musicians' 'other' bands, beginning as usual with Sad Café's "Everyday Hurts" which is still amazing after all these years, and Paul's delivery was spot on as usual. "How Long?" Followed and Mr. Carrack was equally superb with this rendition of the ace classic, before the opening guitar riff of "I Can't Dance" brought cheers from the crowd.
An emotional version (is there any other kind?) of "The Living Years" followed and I am sure that I was not the only one with a tear in my ear by the end of it. What could follow that and close a show by The Mechanics? Only one song really, and "All I Need Is A Miracle" was delivered to us in a high energy version with Paul Young feeding off the energy from the crowd and evidently having a great time. In fact the entire band including a new face this time round in the shape of new guitarist Jamie Rose, who fitted into the niche left by Tim Renwick superbly well.
The band left the stage to raucous applause before returning to the stage for the expected encores, which opened with the singalong "Over My Shoulder" before the band gave us one more chance to rock with a stunning performance of "Word Of Mouth" before taking their final bows, and leaving the crowd screaming for more. On this showing the band can rest assured that their tour will be a great success and to those who may quibble that the show relied on the "hits" my only reply is: "If you've got it - FLAUNT IT!" Thanks for yet another brilliant night, guys!
My thanks on behalf of the lucky TWR readers who were able to attend this gig to Carol Willis at Hit & Run form making it all possible and for "making my day" once again!