Mike & The Mechanics, May 10th 1999
London, UK
By Gary Best


The evening started off, handily in a pub just off Oxford Circus in London. Pints were consumed and passes for the gig picked up. I wasn't expecting it to be particularly busy but as we left the pub and turned the corner to get into the gig, a queue of about 200 people were waiting! Later we found out that Radio 2 ran a competition giving away tickets to the gig.

We waited around for a bit (as you tend to do 45 mins before a show!), away from the bar as it was 3.50 for a bottle! Some of us spotted a large beard walking by - Genesis manager Tony Smith was hiding beneath it, so we knew we were in the right place!

Eventually at about 8:30pm the band came on, introduced by a Radio 2 DJ (I'll pretend I don't listen to Radio 2 and pretend I don't know his name!). He told us that the show (or at least an hour of it) will be broadcast on May 22nd (FA Cup Final day, when Man Utd beat Newcastle).

They started off with Beggar On A Beach Of Gold andGet Up , which showed that both the Paul's were at their best. Then came the first of the new ones Ordinary Girl which is immediately a recognisable Mechanics song - Paul Young on vocals. More than likely gonna be a single too, very good. I'd liken it to Another Cup Of Coffee .

Next up was the first single from the new album Now That You've Gone . Carrack on vocals. It's got a very "club" type drum pattern to it, but it's also clearly a very good Carrack/Mechanics song. I'd personally bet on it being a big hit as I can see it getting a lot of play in the clubs.

Another Cup Of Coffee followed - same as ever and still great! Whenever I Stop was next and yet another new song. Can't remember too much about it (it's very hard after only hearing it once!), although it's again got Carrack on vocals.

Mike did a few intros next as well as having his guitar pack up before the following number. One of the Paul's shouted "You'd think Mike would be able to afford equipment that worked!"

My Little Island , another new one, followed. A very calm, soothing type song with acoustic guitars. Paul Young on vocals. Has the same effect as playing the beginning of Duchess on a walkman whilst being in a large crowd of people.

All The Light I Need (Carrack vocals) was next, followed by yet another new one of which the title escapes me at the moment. Both are sort of hazy now but I remember one of them being a rockier type number and both being great songs live.

Next up came a few songs from various solo outlets. Paul Young with Everyday Hurts , Paul Carrack with the fantastic How Long and Paul Young again on vocals with a very bluesy version of I Can't Dance . Great crowd pleasers.

The Living Years next, followed by All I Need Is A Miracle to end the main set with a lot of audience participation and some very loud cheering.

The encore came along shortly afterwards with Over My Shoulder and Word Of Mouth , both had the crowd singing along and participating loudly and then the show came to an end. A fantastic night overall and I'm *very* glad I'm off to both Royal Albert Hall shows on the 24th and 25th.


Beggar on a Beach of Gold
Get Up
Ordinary Girl
Now That You've Gone
Another Cup Of Coffee
Whenever I Stop
My Little Island
All The Light I Need
Everyday Hurts
How Long
I Can't Dance
The Living Years
All I Need Is a Miracle

Over My Shoulder
Word Of Mouth



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