With only two tracks from the album featured in the set, the Word Of Mouth Tour 2017 billing – to celebrate that album’s 25th anniversary last year, turned out to be something of a misnomer.
But, let’s be honest, the audience weren’t there for a forensic revaluation of that album. No, they were there for the strap line promise of “all the hits and selected Genesis songs”.
And while Mike and his multi-talented Mechanics didn’t disappoint in that respect, the opportunity wasn’t missed to give a weighty plug for the imminent Let Me Fly album (which contributed almost a quarter of the songs on the night).
The hits were, as billed, pretty much all present and correct and perhaps Rutherford has learned from Steve Hackett’s experience that opening the Pandora’s Box of the Genesis back catalogue can be prejudicial to your future set list options (if not your bank balance). So, the ‘then there were three’-era output was restricted to the crowd pleasing ‘Land Of Confusion’, and ‘I Can’t Dance’ – an undisputed highlight on the night.
With hindsight it may have been best had fans had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the Let Me Fly material in advance, because, although it fitted seamlessly into the set, it was only the aptly titled set opener – a classic piece of timeless pop, and maybe ‘Wonder’ – which harked back to The Living Years, that would have been strong enough to ride the charts in the band’s heyday in the mid-eighties to mid-nineties.
As you’d expect, with the line-up now stable with Andrew Roachford and Canadian Tim Howar sharing vocal duties, the performance was impeccable, Rutherford looking every inch the semi-retired, well-heeled rock star – lean, and in casual jacket and T-shirt.
But while I’ve seldom seen a vocalist work a crowd so hard, I wasn’t entirely convinced by Howar’s ‘fit’. His somewhat Transatlantic ‘Idol’ style posturing was in sharp contrast to the restrained ‘stiff British upper lip’ nature of the rest of band.
And his compunction to namecheck ‘Manchester’ at least once during every number (managing to get into jaw dropping double figures in ‘All I Need Is A Miracle’) was just too clichéd (and misjudged) for my liking.
Roachford, on the other hand was the epitome of ‘cool’, his own ‘Cuddly Toy’ getting a rapturous reception from the well represented, female contingent of the audience.
But hey, as billed, we got – as we all wanted – ‘hit after hit’. No frills, no extensive soloing, no extended work outs – just a ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ celebration of some of the best pop songs that have come from these shores and found favour around the globe.
Songs like the impossibly catchy ‘Another Cup Of Coffee’ and ‘Over My Shoulder’, the polished craftsmanship of ‘Silent Running’ (I still can’t get it out of my head 24 hours later), the irrepressible ‘All I Need Is A Miracle’, and the timeless ‘The Living Years’ which evoked memories of the late, great, Paul Young.
As they say, they just don’t write ‘em like that anymore. Now, that’s what I call entertainment.
Setlist: Are You Ready / Another Cup Of Coffee / Get Up / Silent Running / Save The World / The Best Is Yet To Come / Land Of Confusion / High Life / Wonder / Let Me Fly / A Beggar On A Beach of Gold / Cuddly Toy / I Can’t Dance / Over My Shoulder / All I Need Is A Miracle. Encores: The Living Years / Word Of Mouth
Review by Pete Whalley
Photos by David Randall
March 17 Concert Hall, Perth
March 18 His Majesty’s , Aberdeen
March 19 Festival Hall, Edinburgh
March 21 Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
March 22 City Hall, Sheffield
March 24 Pavilion, Bournemouth
March 25 Guildhall, Portsmouth
March 26 Royal Albert Hall, London
March 28 City Hall, Salisbury
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk
(Sunday 25 April 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT)
It’s an Anniversary Show celebrating a year of Sunday Sessions.
Next session: Sunday 23 May, 21:00 GMT and 16:00 EST
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 18 April 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 April 2021.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 19 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 STEPHEN CRANE Kicks (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE TREATMENT Waiting For Good Luck (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 AMY SPEACE & THE ORPHAN BRIGADE – There Used To Be Horses Here (Proper)
Power Plays w/c 3 May 2021 (Mon-Fri)
THE COLD STARES In The Night Time (Mascot)
NATHALIE MIRANDA Battle Scars (You Won’t Forget My Name) (indie)
RAMES Eleanor Street (indie)
THE STEADY LETTERS The Blue (indie)
CRIMSON RIOT Shatter (Golden Robot Records)
THUNDERMOTHER You Can’t Handle Me (AFM Records)
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