"The Unplugged Experience" - Phil's performance for MTV's unplugged
show, reviewed by Stephanie Stratton and Anne Roughton.
It all started with a newspaper cutting from America. This stated that Phil would
be recording an "Unplugged" in London in late August. We were desperate
for information; then one night a friend 'phoned to say MTV Text had a competition
to win tickets to this event. So, seven of us entered and six of us were winners!
We were told that we had been picked from over 30,000 entries!
We were told to turn up at MTV Studios in Camden Town London to be taken by coach
to the secret location where the show was being held. Once on board the coach
we were given our tickets -only 180 people were luck enough to attend this excusive
event. The location was a small TV studio in Wembley. Once inside we were escorted
to our seats at the front of the stage; about twelve rows back. There were seats
all around the small stage.
Before the show we were told to remain seated and be subdued ; not to scream and
shout (that MUST have been a trial for you Steph -AH) as it was being filmed.
The atmosphere was tense but with a great air of excitement and anticipation.
Then at 8pm Phil walked out on to the stage to a tumultuous reception. Wearing
white trousers and blue silk shirt and looking very tanned, fit (and gorgeous).
He seemed pleased by the reaction of the audience. He opened the set with I Don't
Care Anymore done in a very different style. This was a continuously surprising
set with old favourites given new arrangements.
It is almost impossible to pick out highlights from the twenty or so songs he
played but among them was a Bluesy version of I Wish It Would Rain Down; a sensational
version of Burn Down The Mission and some outstanding drumming on The West Side
as well as a lovely mellow rendering of In The Air Tonight at the piano.
There were also some great surprise choices such as the romantic Just The Way
You Look Tonight and a funky interpretation of The Beatles' Lady Madonna. During
the two hour set he appeared relaxed; cracking jokes and thanked everyone for
being so patient while he did some re-takes! It was no hardship listening to some
songs twice! This concert was a once in a lifetime experience which we were very
privileged to attend and one which we will never forget.