“Another day In Birmingham” - Phil Collins in concert at the NEC Birmingham on Tuesday 10th July 1990. Review by Alan Hewitt. Photographs by Guido Truffer/David Birtwell. Memorabilia: TWR Archive.
Well, another Phil Collins show, the last of his current UK tour and another marvellous performance by Phil and the band!
As usual, the man himself announced the impending arrival of the show and lo: there they were, beginning with the musical brilliance of Hand In Hand as the carousel setting rose to reveal an extra part of the lighting rig. From that moment on for the next two and a half hours the audience were treated to a rare display of musical excellence and corny acting by Phil! This show as a first in as much as that it was the first time in all the years that we have known each other, that all three editors of The Waiting Room were together at the show.
The set itself was, in the main, the same as I had seen in Paris and Peter had seen in Lyon earlier in the year. However, there were a couple of differences. As usual the skilful balance between up temp rhythms and slow ballads was maintained as the boys (and girls) ran through Hang In Long Enough, Against All Odds, Don’t Lose My Number and Inside Out to name but a few. The band were in fine form and Phil’s voice showed none of the problems that had plagued some of the earlier shows on the tour.
The show as a masterful demonstration of just why Phil is so highly regarded in the business. The music was polished (a little too polished in places). Lighting was an added bonus and used to highlight the music rather than overpower it, and certainly several songs befitted from it especially some of the instrumentals.
Personal highlights are hard to mention but a personal favourite has to be Colours which has certainly grown in stature on this tour as has the new version of In The Air Tonight. There was even a guest appearance at the show by Chester Thompson’s son who was introduced by Phil as guest percussionist on Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore with the added mention that he was in fact, shorter than Phil which was why he was in the band!
It is interesting to see that Phil has omitted I Wish It Would Rain Down from the set which was a shame and in fact by all accounts the set has been changed a couple of times and Behind The Lines has been played at several of the Australian shows in March as well as All Of My Life but the show was not detracted from by these omissions.
The rest of the set was the same as before and every bit as enjoyable with everyone joining in the party atmosphere long before we reached the final encore of Take Me Home. Another show over and the British leg of the tour completed, Phil must be pleased with the reception he has had - I certainly think the fans were pleased. We were at any rate!