Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Soul guitarist..... Mike and the Mechanics at Bournemouth...

“soul surfer...to pursue surfing not just as an athletic endeavour or as a sunny day diversion, but to try to glean whatever lessons you can from the practice. It means being aware of your surroundings, and respectful of the people and places that you interact with. It means being patient, mindful, kind, compassionate, understanding, active, thoughtful, faithful, hopeful, gracious, disciplined and…good.” 
[Brad Melekian in a 2005 article in Surfer magazine]

...so to push the analogy a little further than was perhaps intended, I think it's also possible to have a "soul guitarist", and by that I mean that after far too long listening to many many rock bands, I've identified two types... the histrionic rock gods epitomised by Slash and his ilk*, and then you've got the guys who just meld with their instrument, and just make music that sends chills up and down your spine....

...and so we bring ourselves to the 02 Academy in Bournemouth on Monday night for a quite astonishingly understated, and under promoted, gig by one of my favourite bands, "Mike and the Mechanics" who have quite possibly one of the best "soul guitarists" I know, Mike Rutherford, the Mike in the name of the band, but also of Genesis fame...

...superb concert - there's all the signs that as he gets older, he is getting more free with his back catalogue, so not only did we get the Mechanics hits (though no new album to tour unlike last year), all the regulars were featured plus a few from last years album, but we also got some surprising Genesis hits (Throwing It All Away, Follow You Follow Me, I Can't Dance) and also a couple from the back catalogue of Andrew Roachford (Cuddly Toy, This Generation) who, along with Tim Howar, continues to provide the vocals for the band....

What a superb night, consummate musicians, wonderful set, hideous venue, but the crowd were up for it from the second song and there then ensued a veritable orgy of "dad dancing" by yours truly, and ensuing embarrassment to my little'uns....  tough....  I spent a lot of time getting to this age....!

I'll leave you with a live version of "Living Years" - one of my top 5 of my songs of all time...  and the perfect demonstration of what a soul guitarist does best - like a metronome in the background, understated, but it carries the whole song..... 


* ....they have their place, but I find less and less of a place as I get older... 

http://www.genesis-news.com/news-Mike-The-Mechanics-Tour-start-with-new-setlist-n285.html

4 comments:

  1. We saw Genesis in concert several (4 or 5) years ago. It was quite lackluster, especially galling due to the high cost of the tickets.

    I'm glad the concert you attended was better.

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  2. I too love Genesis but favour Steve Hackett more as a solo artist...

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  3. Nice floater, I only lately got into the more laid-back "new age" style of writing.

    Also - Even over here Dads n' Mums (and lately sons n' daughters too) meet and drink and dance too mostly classic soul music. Backboneflip anyone? =)

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  4. a couple of years ago my wife dragged me to an America gig. Nothing to do with Genesis but just consumate musicians playing well crafted songs - brilliant. But only half full so probably won't turn up again.

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