Perhaps this week is Noel Gallagher’s worse nightmare. First Liam launches his own solo career, then his nemesis Phil Collins launches his long-awaited comeback and finally we are likely to have another Tory government.
Back in 2005 Noel announced “vote Labour. If you don’t and the Tories get in, Phil is threatening to come back”.
Well; Phil didn’t come back. Although it wasn’t due to tax exile as Noel & others claimed.
Since 2005 Phil had a reunion tour with Genesis in 2007 & released an album of Motown covers in 2010 with a short accompanying tour. There has been little of note since.
In 2011 Collins officially retired from the music industry.
Until Liverpool many of his most famous solo numbers had not played live since 2005.
Unfairly; Phil Collins has been subject to much criticism in recent years. However; you don’t become 1 of only 2 people(the other being Paul McCartney) to sell over 100 million albums as both a solo artist and in a band without some considerable talent.
In recent times the music industry seems to have caught on and seems to have realised; too late; his depth of talent.
October 2015 Phil Collins announced he was coming out of retirement. It has been a slow return; partly caused by his well documented health problems.
In October 2016 he announced he would perform a mini tour in June 2017. The initial dates being at the Royal Albert Hall followed by a few gigs in France, Germany & Ireland. The tour humorously titled “Not Dead Yet: Live 2017”.
However; in March 2017 an extra date was added. Phil Collins would perform at the Liverpool Echo Arena on the 2nd June as the new start date to his tour.
Why did he start in Liverpool?
The complete lack of press reports and interviews does not provide any answers.
Perhaps it was to have a low-key start without the glare of national media? Only the Liverpool Echo seem to have been there.
The day of the concert one national newspaper repeated an old interview about alcohol. The only other article in the week prior was this rather bizarre report.
I have to admit I did wonder if the would be a last-minute cancellation.
However the wasn’t and just after 8pm Phil Collins walked on the stage alone helped by a walking stick.
“I know I said I’d never do this again. But the truth is, I’ve missed you.” Phil announced.
“The only thing that’s going to be slightly different about tonight is I’ve got to sing sitting down. I’ve had a back operation and my leg’s f****d.” With that he started singing Against All Odds alone on the stage.
In total he performed just under 2.5 hours split into 2 sets with a 20 minute break. Despite earlier rumours he did not play any drums. However; his 16-year-old son Nick ably stepped in.
Whilst the dancing and drumming might have gone the voice still remained. Perhaps it wasn’t as strong as before but it didn’t matter. The response from the crowd was immense as Phil sang hit after hit plus the odd less familiar album track.
In the Air Tonight, Sussudio, Another Day in Paradise, Easy Lover were all performed. Plus his Genesis career wasn’t forgotten with Follow You Follow Me & Invisible Touch being part of the set list.
Take Me Home finished the night as we all went home realising that Noel Gallagher is wrong.
Welcome Back Phil!