“What was your school band called?,” Andrew Roachford asks Mike Rutherford.
FESTIVAL THEATRE, NICOLSON STREET
Rutherford – utterly content in his role as the band’s father figure – peers over his shades, allows the crowd to settle on the back of a few laughs and whispers . . . “Genesis”.
The audience simultaneously rises as Mike’s mechanics pay homage to their creator by putting their foot down on a riotous version of 1986 classic Land of Confusion.
The line-up might have changed over the years – Mike admitted in 2004 that the band had run its race before a welcome relaunch six years later – but Roachford and Canadian frontman Tim Howar hastily form a strong bond with fans new and old.
The Genesis interlude – also featuring a fun version of I Can’t Dance – comes after a run through some of the Mechanics’ best-known hits, such as All I Need is a Miracle, Get Out and Another Cup of Coffee.
It’s time then for the plugs to come out and a wooden box to become a makeshift drum kit as songs from their forthcoming new album – Let It Fly – get an airing.
Time allows for “some Roachford music” as Andrew bursts out from behind his keyboard to launch into a prolonged and funky version of Cuddly Toy.
Rutherford and crew keep the audience waiting, but eventually Over My Shoulder makes its appearance before an encore featuring The Living Years and Word of Mouth.
They might have been through a few MOTs in their time – but the Mike and the Mechanics clearly have plenty more miles left on the clock.