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Paul Carrack and Mike Rutherford

at two multi-artists events


Live performances by Mike with the Mechanics have become rare to a point when even the concerts after Paul Young’s death came as a surprise. Mike frequently plays on charity shows, and it is not a rare occurrence that Mechanics vocalist Paul Carrack also performs on these shows. Some of these concerts were filmed and released on DVD. EagleVision, who also published Live At Shepherd’s Bush and the Genesis Songbook, have now released one of these shows, a charity show in 2005. Another show Mike participated in was the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar at London’s Wembley Arena in 2004.




Band Du Lac

A veritable charity concert classic hides behind the peculiar label. None other but Gary Brooker, frontman of Procul Harum, regularly sets up an all-star band for a good purpose. Phil Collins was involved with this group in the late 80s. Most of the band members come from Surrey, England, where the concerts take place on a regular basis. The 2005 show of the Band Du Lac took place at the historical Wintershall Estate in Surrey just outside London. The core of the 2005 all-star band consisted of Gary Brooker (keyboards, vocals), Mike Rutherford (guitar), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar), Harry Spinetti (drums) and Paul Carrack (organ, keyboards, vocals). Guest musicians include stars like Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor (vocals), Katie Melua (vocals), Ringo Starr (vocals) and The Drifters. The concert was a fundraiser for HASTE (Heart And Stroke Trust Endeavour) and a part of the proceeds from the DVD will be donated to that organization, too.

rutherford-clapton

There are 23 tracks in the DVD with constantly changing line-ups. The opening song is a classic: Tequila, and Gary Brooker, head of the all star band (see photo, left), introduces the musicians of the Band Du Lac. Two Mechanics songs are played; Over My Shoulder can be heard early on, while Carrack’s How Long occurs later in the set. Eric Clapton was present, too. He played a couple of classics, Reconsider Baby and the atmospheric Lay Down Sally that was only outdone late in the show by Cocaine. Clapton also played Willie & The Hand Jive. Katie Melua’s performance was something for her fans only, as it were, the mood flagged somewhat during that part of the show. One of the highlights certainly was the performance by Roger Taylor. He presented a new Queen song (Say It’s Not True, which he also sang on the recent Queen & Paul Rodgers tour) and two Queen classics – These Are The Days Of Our Lives and I Want To Break Free. Roger Taylor, like Mike Rutherford, is a local hero. In fact, both were neighbours for a time. What impresses most about Taylor is his very confident vocal performance; he is, after all, a singing drummer just like Phil Collins. Gary Brooker played This World Is Rich himself and, of course, Procul Harum’s best-known song, A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Andy Fairweather-Low, who plays in both Eric Clapton’s and Roger Waters’ bands, sang another rock classic, Lay My Burden Down. He comes across like the maths teacher of the local grammar school, and his singing, heavily supported by the background singers, sticks to that likeable naïve style. Fairweather-Low, unlike Clapton, has a quite agreeable voice, but he will never turn into a proper frontman. Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr causes a buzz playing, amongst other songs, the classic With A Little Help From My Friends; later on The Drifters delight everyone with Stand By Me.

buehne 

The grand finale is – I Can’t Dance. All the musicians come on stage and chant the Genesis joke song. Rutherford often had it in the Mechanics’ set list while showman Paul Young was still around. This night Gary Brooker does vocal duty. The song is okay as an all-star finale, but it just shows how much this number thrives on Phil Collins’ kind of humour. For once the song is played on real percussion without any drumcomputers. New elements consist of a saxophone solo, a laser show and fireworks. The guitar solo at the end is not played by Mike, but by Eric Clapton.


The DVD is very entertaining and it offers an interesting performance by Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack. They never take the centre spot, though. Mike never was that great a guitarist and that’s how he plays the whole show.
For sounds one can choose between stero, DD 5.1 and dts surround. The sound is clear but the surround version was mixed a bit carelessly. All speakers provide more or less the same thing – live atmosphere is something else. Not much to complain about the video part. It is usually clean enough though some gadgets like a triple mirroring of the same show are a tad annoying. A documentation about the concert was added as a bonus. Some of the musicians talk about the show while others, like Mike, more or less stand around. The DVD also comes with a six-page colour booklet with some photos.





The Strat Pack

stratpack-coverA similar density of stars is featured on the slightly older DVD The Strat Pack. On the Strat Pack concert Brian May was so thrilled by performing with Paul Rodgers that this gig triggered the Queen & Paul Rodgers. The Bad Company classic Alright Now on the DVD bears witness to the special musical chemistry. Apart from Paul Rodgers and Brian May there are a number of other musicians of world-wide fame, most of them guitarists, on the DVD. Gary Moore, for example, plays Red House. Upcoming star Jamie Cullum plays Angel and performances by veterans like Joe Walsh and Phil Manzanera are also included. The most glamourous part of the show was played by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. He played a peculiar short “late Floyd” set consisting of Marooned, Coming Back To Life and Sorrow with much feeling. When this concert took place neither a new Gilmour record nor the Pink Floyd reunion had appeared on the horizon. Comfortably Numb with its definitive Gilmour Stratocaster solo, however, was an unhappy omission.

Mike Rutherford and Paul Carrack were not part of the house band but played a brief set on their own. And it certainly was another idiosyncratic set. Those who expected songs like Over My Shoulder or The Living Years were surprised by All Along The Watchtower and While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Add to that the Ace classic How Long and, again, I Can’t Dance that perhaps that day celebrated its premiere with Paul Carrack’s vocals. Celebrated, however, is probably the wrong expression. Their performance seems oddly uninspired and off-colour. Everybody in the audience who expected Mike to play the lead guitar on All Along The Watchtower and While My Guitar Gently Weeps were disappointed. The solos were played by the house guitarist, Mike just accompanied him. A meagre effort for someone who has been playing the Stratocaster for years and who was capable of so much more in the Genesis years.
The performance by Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones more than made up for that disappointment. Still many listeners won’t believe their eyes, or rather their ears. It is unbelievable that this performance really was released on DVD. Ronnie Wood plays Ooh La La, a song made popular in a version by Rod Stewart. Ronnie Wood on the other hand does not even try to hit the right note. His capricious performance probably resulted from his being excessively inebriated. At the very least he offered an entertaining show. The all-star line-up then plays an unspectacular Stay With Me, bringing a memorable concert to a close.


mike-paul

The Strat Pack can be heard in stereo, DD 5.1 and dts surround. The mix is somewhat better than on the Band Du Lac DVD. The booklet consists of ten coloured pages.


The DVD may not be a feast for Genesis/Rutherford-only fans, but it is an interesting document for friends of good guitar rock.


by Christian Gerhardts

translated by Martin Klinkhardt




DU LAC Tracklist

House Band
Tequila
Over My Shoulder (Vocals Paul Carrack)

+ Eric Clapton
Reconsider Baby
Lay Down Sally
How Long (Vocals Paul Carrack)
Willie & The Hand Jive

+ Katie Melua
Crawling Up A Hill
My Aphrodisiac Is You
The Closest Thing To Crazy

House Band, Vocals Fairweather-Low
Lay My Burden Down

+ Roger Taylor
Say It's Not True
These Are The Days Of Our Lives
I Want To Break Free

House Band, Vocals Gary Brooker
This World Is Rich

+ Ringo Starr
Act Naturally
Photograph
With A Little Help From My Friends

House Band, Vocals Gary Brooker
A Whiter Shade Of Pale

+ Eric Clapton & Chris Barber
Stormy Monday

+ The Drifters
Under The Boardwalk
Stand By Me

+ Eric Clapton
Cocaine

All Star Band
I Can't Dance
STRAT PACK Tracklist

The Crickets, Albert Lee & Brian May
Peggy Sue
Maybe Baby
I Fought The Law
Oh Boy
That'll Be The Day

Hank & Ben Marvin
The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt
Sleepwalk
Apache

Theresa Andersson
I'm On My Way
Country Boy (feat. Albert Lee)

Mike Rutherford & Paul Carrack
How Long
All Along The Watchtower
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I Can't Dance

Gary Moore
Red House

Jamie Cullum
Angel

Amy Winehouse
Stronger Than Me

Paul Rodgers
Muddy Waters Blues
Drinking (feat. Jasmine & Steve Rodgers)
Alright Now (feat. Brian May)
Can't Get Enough (feat. Joe Walsh)

Joe Walsh
Funk 49
Life's Been Good
Life In The Fast Lane
Rock Mountain Way

Phil Manzanera
6PM

David Gilmour
Marooned
Coming Back To Life
Sorrow

Ronnie Wood
Ohh La La

All Star Line-Up
Stay With Me



Mike Rutherford


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