Catch up with Mike Rutherford ahead of his new Mike + The Mechanics tour coming to Eastbourne

Mike And The Mechanics
Mike And The Mechanics

British supergroup Mike + The Mechanics will bring “something different” to their show at The Congress Theatre next month.

The Looking Back Over My Shoulder tour, which is an epic run of 34 concerts, comes to Eastbourne on Friday April 5; tickets cost from £36 - £41 from box office on 01323 412000 or eastbournetheatres.co.uk.

With the release of new album Out Of The Blue Mike Rutherford talks about the “natural fit” with Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar joining the line-up and looks forward to touring with Phil Collins this Summer.

With 35 years of success under his belt with Mike + The Mechanics, which won an Ivor Novello award for the anthem The Living Years, not to mention being a founder member of Genesis which enjoyed in excess of 100 million album sales, you would think Mike might opt for a more sedentary life these days, but nothing could be further from the truth.

I spoke to him mid-afternoon ahead of a gig that evening. He said: “I’m in sunny Manchester and feeling well,” although I detect a hint of humour in his voice.

He starts by explaining how The Mechanics almost ceased to exist with Paul Carrick’s departure and Paul Young passing away suddenly in 2000: “I started writing some songs and thought to myself, these sound like Mechanics songs,” and it was from there he invited Andrew Roachford along whom he already knew: “We ended up writing a song on the first day, It was a natural fit.”

The other new addition to the line-up or ‘collective’ as Rutherford likes to frame it, is Tim Howar. He goes on to say how Tim is arguably better known for his performances in hit West End theatre shows as well as playing in his own rock band. Having the two vocalists was in keeping with the distinctive sound that Mike & The Mechanics originally crafted. He’s regularly asked how this can work, be viable, but he describes how Roachford and Newar “are so complimentary together, It was a no-brainer really.”

It’s an intensive touring schedule but Rutherford seems happy with that: “I don’t mind working hard,” he said, “it’s like Sport, you get match fit, the more the band plays the better it sounds.” They’re typically gigging three nights out of four and with that, goes the need for good nutrition while on the road. “We’ve brought our own team of chefs, they bring all their equipment with them, it’s great.”

Rutherford exudes a total sense of self-assuredness about his work and commented: “For people who don’t know, this is the fourth UK tour for The Mechanics and I wanted something different this time, so we’ve put the show into two sets with an interval.”

After this UK tour, they are off to Europe and pleased to be supporting Phil Collins on tour after his sabbatical for two years: “It’s great to see him playing again, said Rutherford.

He is not sure about what will happen next: “That’s the thing about the collective...they’ve all got other things, other projects too, so we’ll see.” By Stuart Large.

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