Phil Collins - Live In Lyon at L’Espace Tony Garnier 19th May 1990. Review by Peter Morton. Photographs by Guido Truffer and David Birtwell.

Having spent the previous two days on a sightseeing trip of France and Switzerland I was certainly ready and looking forward to seeing my first Phil Collins show , and what a way to spend it! In the picturesque city of Lyon. As we drove past the huge indoor arena at around 6pm we could already see the crowds starting to build up at the gates. At this show it was a case of those at the very front of the queue would get a spot nearest the stage.

The venue itself was very similar to the huge indoor market arenas with seats set out around the sides. It had, of course, been sold out months before with about 30,000 fans (32 coach loads travelling the distance from England) paying about 150fr for each ticket.

The merchanidse stall organisation was ridiculous. One stall, three people serving. By 7.30pm many of the t shirts and programmes had sold out , much to the annoyance of those who had spent 30 minutes waiting to get one! let’s hope by the time the shows reach England again this problem will have been resolved.

The atmosphere in L’Espace Tony Garnier was now electric and at 8.30pm Phil’s voice came over the PA: “Good evening, everybody. It’s me here. Tonight’s show will begin in five minutes’ time, in five minutes so if you haven’t been to the bathroom yet, now’s the time to go. See you soon…”

And so, true to the man’s word, five minutes later the lights dimmed and the merry go round backcloth lifted to reveal the nine Serious Guys and the Seriousettes playing Hand In Hand. The audience went crazy. Hang In Long Enough and Who Said I Would followed, keeping the tempo going. The mood then changed for the superb Against All Odds sung superbly by Phil (interesting to note that this song had been dropped at several of the early shows in the tour). The next selection of songs were sung and played in superb style and when Somnething Happened On The Way To Heaven began nearly everyone was off their seats dancing and clapping along.

Separate Lives came as a surprise, sung with great gusto by Phil and Bridgette Bryant. SaturdayNight And Sunday Morning and The West Side which followed, gave both Phil and Chester room to show what brilliant drummers they are, especially when they perform together. After Colours, my favourite track from Phil’s new album, and another impressive drum duet between Phil and Chester, came more of the hits: In The Air Tonight, You Can’t Hurry Love, Two Hearts and Sussudio closing the show.

The audience were still ecstatic, everybody was standing, shouting for more and they certainly got more as Phil returned to the stage to start the encores by singing A Groovy Kind of Love. Take Me Home was the obvious choice to close the show and after almost three hours I left the concert along with 30,000 others a very happy person. With Phil’s music still buzzing in my ears, it was back to the coach and onwards at 12 midnight for the return trip to England.

To sum up: this was my first concert in Europe and if the show is anything to go by, I will soon be back. An excellent performance from Phil well worth the trip and I can’t wait to see him again in England this July.

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