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    Mike + The Mechanics live 1999


    June 18, 1999, Bonn - Kunsthalle (Museumsmeile)


    The Mechanics had picked a sunny day for their show at the tent-covered Bonn art exhibition area – one of three gigs they would play in Germany. The audience of about 4,000 enjoyed the first band, The Swans, but Suzanne Vega could not keep up the atmosphere because she played almost an hour and there were not many people in the audience who knew her songs.

    At a quarter past eight the Mechanics took the stage and received a big welcome applause. The opening song, Get Up, was just a warm-up. Paul Young was in high spirits and entertained the audience very well. Paul Carrack and Mike Rutherford were also in good humours, but Paul was frequently simply stuck at the keyboards even when he was singing. An additional tour keyboarder would be quite useful. Most songs from the new album M6 were very popular. The party in the audience reached a peak towards the end of the show. The band played a remarkable medley that ended with I Can’t Dance sung by Paul Young. The Mechanics left the stage after All I Need Is A Miracle, but returned immediately after a couple of shouts for encores. The final of the two encores was Word Of Mouth. It was almost nine minutes long and proved the highpoint of the show. Calls for further encores were unfortunately not heeded. It was a very good show, though one of their  greatest hits, Nobody’s Perfect, was not placed, which is hard to understand, particularly if you consider that the whole show was only about 90 minutes long.

    by Arne Platzen


    The first Mechanics show since 1995 was preceded by the surprisingly good Swans and a rather boring Suzanne Vega. The set list did not offer anything new, though – just take a 1995 set and replace five songs from the original album. The Mechanics played therefore only some 90 minutes (including encores), only the hits – simply some fun for Mike. Even the medley, in which one would have hoped for something new, was the same. As if I Can’t Dance was the only Genesis song Mike can play.

    The only change was in the line-up. Jamie Moses played the guitar next to Carrack, Rutherford, Young and Wallis. Listening to Moses made one miss Tim Renwick , perhaps because Jamie Moses did not seem to feel like playing that night or because he grinned at some roadies in a disparaging way while Mike played a solo. The guitarists did not seem to get along at all. The audience were mainly genteel and looking for an evening of easy entertainment (so I Can’t Dance proved very popular).

    The stage was decorated only with five two-armed street lamps. Mike was the first to quickly leave the stage both after the main set and the encores. It was not one of his best guitar days anyway. If you did not mind all that you got a good show. Paul and Paul did well to very well – Paul C. mainly on the keyboards and Paul Y. as an entertainer. Gary Wallis sounded good, but he could have been a bit more courageous. What else? The band were introduced no less than three times, the weather was great and so were the roofs. There is nothing that would made this concert stick in one’s mind. This tour could only be justified if it was made to produce a Greatest Hits live album.

    by Michael Theis
    both reports English by Martin Klinkhardt

    first published in it magazine #27, autumn 1999

    Mike Rutherford


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