When Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford Performed Together in 2019

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Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins in Berlin, Germany on June 7, 2019

At the time, it wasn’t the Genesis reunion that fans have hoped for since 2007, but two of the band’s three members—Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins—shared the stage on June 7, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

Rutherford’s longtime “side project,” Mike + the Mechanics, toured with Collins for six shows that month, but it’s unclear why they finally chose this night to share the stage.

The Mechanics had last opened for Collins on June 30, 2017, at London’s Hyde Park but an on-stage reunion never took place, despite the ideal setting.

On June 7 at Olympiasadion in Berlin, the timing was right. Six songs into Collins’ set, and after the first performance of a Genesis number (“Throwing it All Away”), his longtime bandmate strode on stage to join his pal on Genesis’ “Follow You, Follow Me.”

They were both seated as clips of Genesis appeared on the screen behind them.

Watch their performance

The following night – June 8 in Denmark – the pair chose not to recreate the magic.

Collins, born Jan. 30, 1951, had begun touring again in recent years. Genesis reunion rumors returned in January 2020 when Collins, Rutherford, and Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks were spotted at a Knicks game at New York’s Madison Square Garden. For weeks, it looked like a case of old friends enjoying each others’ company while in the same city.

But on March 4, 2020, came the news that Genesis would be reuniting later that year. Then the pandemic hit and the tour was moved to 2021. Our recap of opening night is here.

In 2019, Mike + The Mechanics released Out of the Blue, their ninth studio album, which includes newly recorded acoustic versions of many of their well known songs.

Rutherford’s album, notes a press release, “captures the evolution of some of the band’s most loved hits throughout their 35-year career, as well as introducing fans to three brand new tracks.”

The album features six “as-live” acoustic versions of “Don’t Know What Came Over Me,” “The Best is Yet to Come,” “The Living Years,” “Beggar on a Beach of Gold,” “Another Cup of Coffee” and “Over My Shoulder.”

Listen to the new acoustic version of “The Living Years”

Rutherford, born Oct. 2, 1950, says, “Having toured with the Mechanics over the last 10 years, I have heard the old songs change a bit each year with Andrew [Roachford] and Tim [Howar] singing and the same band playing. In some cases they have been extended and developed – so it seemed a good idea to record these versions in the studio.

Tim Howar, Mike Rutherford and Andrew Roachford

“Anyone who has seen us live will I’m sure like to hear the old ones in this form as they show how the two singers work so well together. Especially on a song like ‘Get Up’ which has become a double lead vocal.

“Recording the unplugged version was like in the old days – down the stairs into a basement studio not fifty yards away from Trident Studios where we recorded Genesis’ second and third albums.

“We recorded these live and Tim and Andrew led the songs with great vocal performances, and we mixed it as we recorded it – like in the past. No wonder albums took a maximum of three weeks to complete then!”

Related: Our interview with Mike Rutherford

Mike + The Mechanics formed in 1985 as a side project and originally featured Paul Young of Sad Café and Paul Carrack of Ace as frontmen. Together, they achieved huge commercial success throughout the ’80s and ’90s.

The band enjoyed a run of hits including “Silent Running,” “Over My Shoulder,” “All I Need Is a Miracle” and the #1 hit, “The Living Years.” After Paul Young’s sudden death in 2000, the band released one further album before deciding to call it a day. Rutherford went on to perform a series of sold-out concerts with a reformed Genesis in 2007, before turning his attention once more to songwriting. He resurrected the Mechanics once again for a 2023 tour with Phil Collins’ son, Nic, on drums.

Watch Genesis turn it on again during their 2007 reunion

They did so again in 2021-2022.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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1 Comment so far

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  1. InIrons
    #1 InIrons 10 June, 2019, 11:17

    I think a Genesis tour as an unplugged would work well.

    Genesis when first together all sat ( the musicians did except for Gabriel) as seen on video, pictures and their first genesis live album cover. Let Nicholas play Phil’s drum parts, Chester and Nick can do the drum battle… just a new reincarnation of Genesis Live.

    Fans would love it

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