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Rated PG
Strings Of Light
Rocking Horse Music Club

Mike + The Mechanics in a discotheque

I was on vacation in Gothenburg, Sweden, when I found out by coincidence that Mike would not only play a gig at Liseberg amusement park on 28/06/95 but also an additional performance a day later at the discotheque Metron. 

Tickets for that night were not at all like the usual tickets – they were simply a receipt with a handwritten note about the concert. At the box office you had to hand over the receipt and your hand was stamped in return for that. By midnight, the starting time for the show, some 400 people has assembled in the disco which was located in an (air-conditioned) basement with a capacity of 1,500.

The set began with A Beggar On A Beach Of Gold and went straight on to Get Up. Mike welcomed the audience briefly, and the show continued with a very strong Over My Shoulder; Paul Carrack’s whistling solo impressed me very much. After that they played Plain & Simple which was followed by the highpoint of the evening, Silent Running. This song overwhelmed my by its emotional quiet; it was played in a completely different way, and so it really lived up to its title.

Paul Young played an excellent percussion solo on the congas for Web Of Lies. Then began the old medley a la Mike + The Mechanics: Every Day Hurts by Sad Café (Paul Young) combined with How Long by Ace (Paul Carrack) combined with I Can’t Dance by Genesis. Paul Young interpreted that latter song very well, for the arrangement including drums and keyboards sounded like to original.

Mike then introduced the musicians after long applause: Both Pauls, Gary Wallis and Tim Renwick (who both have tour experience from Pink Floyd). The band completely won over the ecstatic audience with the final song, The Living Years and All I Need Is A Miracle and proved that this is no hobby band and no obscure outfit, but a band that has been together for a while. After brief Swedish calls for encores the band returned, got the disco going by an “audience participation” time and then took their goodbyes. I do not know how the Mechanics did in Germany and what and how long they played, but this brief show that ended at 1:30 in the morning was something special. It was, after all, a unique environment with a personal atmosphere (the stage was not elevated) and the gig was spontaneous – it had been announced only five days earlier.

We also got a lot of show for little money (100 SKr, 10 EUR). Unfortunately the show was not attended very well, and audiences began to arrive slowly around 11pm though the show was supposed to begin at that point. The band therefore sat around in the disco before and after the show and was available for some small talk – This made it even more personal and even more special for me.

by Lars Köster
English by Martin Klinkhardt