Let Me Fly overflows with the sense of joy that has defined the band’s entire existence and, as ever, there’s a host of characters, not all of them upstanding citizens, such as the hapless philanderer of "Don’t Know What Came Over Me," the first single taken from the album.
The second single "Let Me Fly" premiered Wednesday with Billboard. The feature includes an exclusive interview with Billboard's Gary Graff and Chief Mechanic Michael Rutherford. Explains Billboard, "The follow-up to 2011's The Road finds the group comfortably ensconced with its current lineup, including dual singers Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar." CLICK HERE to read the interview in full.
21 Apr - House of Independents; Asbury Park, NJ, US 23 Apr - Highline Ballroom; New York, NY, US 25 Jun - Aviva Stadium; Dublin, Ireland 30 Jun - Barclaycard British Summer Time 2017; London, UK 01 Sep - Amager Bio; Copenhagen, Denmark 03 Sep - Ice Krakow Congress Centre; Krakow, Poland 05 Sep - Vienna Arena (Arena Wien); Vienna, Austria 06 Sep - Lucerna Music Bar; Prague, Czech Republic 07 Sep - Alter Schlachthof; Dresden, Germany 07 Sep - Augusta Raurica; Augst, Switzerland 09 Sep - Montforthaus Feldkirch; Feldkirch, Austria 09 Sep - Augusta Raurica; Augst, Switzerland 10 Sep - Augusta Raurica; Augst, Switzerland 11 Sep - Alcatraz; Milan, Italy 13 Sep - Het Depot; Leuven, Belgium 14 Sep - Melkweg; Amsterdam, Netherlands 15 Sep - La Cigale; Paris, France 17 Sep - Muffathalle; Munich, Germany 18 Sep - Halle 45; Mainz, Germany 20 Sep - Lichtburg Essen; Essen, Germany 21 Sep - Columbiahalle; Berlin, Germany 22 Sep - Haus Auensee; Leipzig, Germany 24 Sep - Gloria Theater; Cologne, Germany 25 Sep - Mozartsaal Im Rosengarten; Mannheim, Germany 26 Sep - Theaterhaus; Stuttgart, Germany 28 Sep - Theater am Aegi; Hannover, Germany 29 Sep - Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Großer Saal; Hamburg, Germany 30 Sep - Stadthalle Magdeburg; Magdeburg, Germany
2017 sees Mike + The Mechanics toast 32 years in business, and alongside their eighth album and major UK tour, they will be special guests this summer at Phil Collins’ massive June Hyde Park gig as part of the British Summer Time Festival.
Let Me Fly began to take off as the band toured 2011’s The Road, the first album featuring the current line-up: Rutherford himself (guitar/bass), Luke Juby (keyboards), Gary Wallis (drums), Anthony Drennan (guitar), plus vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar.
“The Mechanics hadn’t played live much, so we started to do what I’d done 40 years ago and build a name. We did Euro festivals, UK tours and small places and, yes, I really did wonder at my age if it was OK to be at Portsmouth Guildhall, but we got to be a great live band. The chemistry works because we’re all very different people, who’re fun and quirky - if there were any personality problems I couldn’t deal with that, I really couldn’t. We needed new songs though.”
Mike’s friend Brian Rawling, producer of David Bowie, Tina Turner, Cher’s "Believe" and the Mike + The Mechanics’ hit "Now That You’ve Gone" played the role of Let Me Fly’s sounding board. Rawling introduced Mike to former Johnny Hates Jazz singer Clark Datchler and, in December 2015 a new songwriting partnership was born.
“We sat down together and from day one it worked. Clark’s a proper writer and he brought something new. I’d send him lines and he’d bring them to life. We never had a slow day.”
Along the way, Mike also collaborated with old friend Fraser T. Smith (Kano, Kaiser Chiefs, Adele, Sam Smith) and Ed Drewett (One Direction, Professor Green), while both Mechanics singers collaborated too. Big studios were out. Instead, Mike and one of the singers would make a demo which would be passed around for the others to embellish and layer by layer, the songs evolved into something special. “You don’t go into studios any more: doing it this way feels like you’re working on the good bits all the time, but the songs really have to deliver.”
The results pleased even the chief Mechanic himself. “The Road didn’t move anyone’s world as we made it just after we’d met. We’ve learned to play together now. For me, it’s about proving I can write a good song, but the older you get, the less you let yourself off with ’it’s not bad’, the less you pretend and the tougher you are on yourself. The hardest part of the whole process is staying relevant, but anyone who says success doesn’t matter is a liar: what you really want is people to like it. Then you feel it’s all been worth it. It’s as simple as that. Oh and my wife loves it, more than she’s loved an album of mine for a while! Trust me, that’s a really good sign.”