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Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 07, 2017    
 
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Phil Collins - Hyde Park, London (UK) - 30 June 2017

Phil Collins still has the Invisible Touch to headline Hyde Park, June 30th 2017

With his recent residency at the Royal Albert Hall cut short, there was as much expectation as there was a concern for Phil Collins' performance tonight.

As the roar of approval rose to the opening chimes of 'Another Day In Paradise', we need not have thought twice, as Collins walked ably onstage to deliver the goods.

Given his well-documented back problems - probably created after years of hunching over his drums - Collins remained seated, like a Dave Allen figure, during the entirety of his set. In fact, I couldn't help thinking that if a musical of 'Till Death Do Us Do Part' ever came about then Collins would make a perfect Alf Garnett, with his hunched and grumpy demeanour.

"This is not a cheesy song," quipped Collins, "and I know that you will sing along to it" as the opening guitar trill to Genesis' Follow You, Follow Me' floated out from the tree adorned stage set. A retro video backdrop of early Genesis footage played along reminding everyone of the band's heyday.

Palm tree visuals backed up the brassy funk of 'I Missed Again', with the horn section blowing up a storm onstage. Collins' voice sounded strong as he and the band had the summer time crowd dancing and cheering along.

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The real test was to come. Under a stark, single stage light a sinister looking Collins ripped into the opening lines of 'In The Air Tonight'. Backed by the eerie guitar of Daryl Stuermer, Collins' voice held firm as his 16-year-old son Nicholas nailed the classic drum fills that launched a thousand samples. This was the moment that heralded Collins' return to form.

With a clock and cogwheel spinning backdrop evoking the timelessness of his songs, but also time running out, maybe, the band rushed into a snappy 'You Can't Hurry Love' and 'Dance Into The Light'. And I have never seen a Hyde Park audience dance with the joyful abandon that I witnessed here.

It was Genesis' big hitting song 'Invisible Touch' that again tested the calibre of Collins' voice, as he hit all the notes with a bulls-eye. Even substituting the lyrics to 'she will f*** up your life, you'll want her just the same' − a possible comment on his many divorces? − as the crowd cheered along.

Confetti rained down as he ended his triumphant set with the upbeat Sussudio', from his mid-1980's hit album 'No Jacket Required'.

But seriously, with the audience singing along to the chorus 'just say the word', the word is that Phil Collins is back!

Paul Davies


Phil Collins Live

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