Sunday 2nd September – Exmouth Pavilion.
Nigel Tant of Exmouth Air speaks to And Finally Phil Collins’ Tim Harper about the show and the upcoming visit to Exmouth Pavilion!
Click HERE to listen to the interview!!!
As announced last week in the Tivoli Theatre (Wimborne Minster), by Mr And Finally – Tim Harper – there is to be a special birthday celebration show, in October:
This unique production comes to the Tivoli with a special one night performance of the best of Toto’s music.
It is part of Mr “And Finally” Tim Harper’s Birthday celebrations!
All of Toto’s greatest hits are included in this 100 minute production. Rosanna, Africa, Hold the Line are the obvious choices, but hard line Toto fans will be pleased to know a majority of the 25th Anniversary Tour music is also part of the collection being performed.
For this one off performance the Band is joined by guest appearances of world class guitarist Ray Hatfield and legendary drummer Bob Henrit.
So a very special night is guaranteed.
This really is a night not to be missed for Toto aficionados and musicians alike.
This was billed as the ‘warm up show’ for AFPC’s forthcoming tour, first time out with their new vocalist, or ‘the new Phil’, Chris O’Connell. Tim Harper, veteran drummer and band leader warned us beforehand there might be some points when the wheels came off. Well, all I can say is, if this was the ‘warm up’,
then audiences are in for a whole lot of heat! Whilst there may have been a hint of quite understandable nerves from all members of the Band in the first half of the show, they tore the roof off with the second half like a band who’ve been playing together for decades!
Tiverton generally provides somewhat stoic audiences, who only rarely show much emotion, but they were hollering and cheering, dancing and joining in with the best of them by the end of the show.
Chris O’Connell provided an amazing performance as a vocally authentic Phil, filling some big shoes quite comfortably, even if it may take a while for him to get accustomed to gliding effortlessly behind the drums when required.
Tim Harper’s drumming was as incredible as ever, providing along with James Higginson a tub-thumping rhythm section, the engine which is the true powerhouse of any great band. Marco Fresi’s ringing guitar tones and wonderful solos alongside Kev Armstrong’s wonderful Keyboards added the necessary shine.
The icing on the cake provided by an amazing selection of brass, with the effervescent Tom Lark on Trombone, the swinging Sam Adams on Sax and trusty Michael Maddocks on Trumpet.
Backing vocalist Eddie Harper provided some great colour to the vocals particularly in the duets. Altogether this is the reforging of a great package and I’ve no doubt they will continue to be a huge hit with audiences up and down the country and beyond.
The band gave much thanks to TCAT’s own Mandy Slevin for taking on managing them and all her hard work has certainly paid off all round – no surprises to those of us that know her already!
The buzz their performance created lasted for several days, and I’m still singing several numbers days later.
A wonderful band at an always amazing venue.
Steve Bush on behalf of TCR radio Mid-Devon
……for a preview show to herald their forthcoming British tour.
Word is that the band have a new singer. Step forward Chris O’Connell for his first performance with this group of fine musicians. Well you could be mistaken for believing that he has been with the band for many a show. He was that good…. close your eyes and it could have been Phil.
Opening with the lively ‘Don’t lose my number’ and ‘Hang in long enough’ the band, with it’s lively brass section were up and running. Chris advised that there would be a few rough edges during the set. Well a measured rendition of ‘Against all odds’ was followed by a very fine ‘I missed again’ (Mr O’Connell excelling on this one) seemed to dispel any doubts. His vocal style on the night moved effortlessly from upbeat songs to the more considered ballads.
Yes there were a few hiccups with Chris checking from time to time to see where on the stage he should be and there was a bit of false start to one song. But hey this is a live show. Having said that there were no such problems as the first half ended with a superb ‘Another day in paradise’ and a stirring ‘I wish it would rain down’.
During the break I’m thinking are the band going rock out a bit and get this appreciative audience dancing in the aisles? I was not to be disappointed. ‘In the air tonight’ was brilliant, lit up with some great percussion and a stirring guitar solo. ‘Dance into the light’ from the 1996 album of the same name was epic.
An interesting ballad pairing was the forerunner to a trilogy of upbeat classics, ‘Can’t hurry love’ sequenced into ‘Two hearts’ and ‘Easy lover’ (clearly a fans favourite) with another cool guitar delivery swiftly followed giving the more animated members of the crowd the chance to test their dance skills. This is now seriously good.
A visibly moved Chris O’Connell was clearly enjoying himself as he addressed the audience before taking a seat behind the second drum kit for a bit of a bash before the band launched into the anthem that is ‘Take me home’, no waving lighters on show tonight but a popular set closer. Thank you Tiverton!
There was a nod to mid 80’s Genesis as ‘Invisible touch’ got the encore off and running, the large crowd were on their feet at the band’s request as ‘Sussudio’ brought matters to an riotous close. Cue loud applause. The band looked chuffed to bits, with good reason.
A fine show. Oh and Chris …. you did great.
Well, what a weekend! After 2 straight days of rehearsals, at last it was time to get on stage and show you what we had been up to for the past 4 months!
A packed Tiverton Community Arts Theatre crowd didn’t let us down with the warmest of welcomes on a freezing cold night. You knew it was a tour preview show.
A chance for us to run through the set in front of an audience and see how everything fitted and worked.
You were told ‘the wheels may come off’ and when they did you laughed with us and cheered us on.
The reviews today have been amazing, in terms of social media, personal messages, emails and phone calls, and the band dispersed with hugs and massive smiles on their faces. I hope it came across how much fun we are all having.
We laughed a lot in preparation for the night, and were still smiling at the end of it all, which is testament to the outstanding team of musicians and characters And Finally Phil Collins has in it.
We are so proud of the show we have put together for 2018. Those of you who were there will know the massive surprise that our new ‘Phil’ Chris O’Connell got last night from the main man, and we will have a video of that moment soon to share with everyone else who wasn’t there.
Thank you so much from all of us. Keep following the tour, come to see us if and when you can, and keep the music of Mr Collins up where it belongs!
If you have any comments or suggestions re the show, please message us or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do this for you.
See you on the road! Mandy, Tour Manager, And Finally Phil Collins and all the AFPC family xx
Thanks to Mike Finding for these outstanding photos of last night!!!
Our lead singer, Chris O’Connell, came up with the idea of basing this year’s stage setting on the ‘Hello I Must Be Going’ Tour and the iconic ‘Live at Perkins Palace, Pasadena’ recording.
It was 1982, and Phil’s first solo tour, apt we thought, as this is Chris’ first tour with us.
At the start of the video of the show, Phil says in an interview, ‘Humour plays an important part in my music and it’s also an important part of back stage band life. I don’t want to be around 8 miserable people, I want to be around people who laugh, and we do a lot of laughing.’ We are a 9-piece band like they were, and it reminded us what this is all about. Friends hanging out together, laughing and then creating some great on-stage music for our extended AFPC family. We’ve been going for 11 years, but this year feels fresh and a new start, much like Phil must have felt on that first solo tour.
Chris’ stage presence as Phil is perfectly set within the Perkins Palace gig. Fun, energetic and vocally on form. Chris was keen to recreate the Phil look of that gig, and we hope that you agree that he certainly pulls the look together!
For our leading lady, the look is 80’s glamour! Classy like Dynasty, that’s our Eddie!
Phil’s horn section at Perkins Palace were the ‘Phenix Horns’. At the time, they pulled off a classic 80s look of big suit with bigger shoulder pads. Our And Finally Horns are much too energetic to be weighed down in suits, but wanted to look equally as ‘sharp’ as Phil’s horns did, so we updated the look to waistcoat, and paid homage to the pink suits with pink shirts. Still with the same iconic tie, we think they look the part!
The rest of Phil’s band at Perkins Palace, ‘The Jacuzzis’, sported the same iconic ties as Phil, but with black ‘school blazer’ looks, until the heat got too much and the jackets were ditched! Our boys liked the look of our horn section, so we adopted the waistcoats for the rest of the band too, but still with the ties and white shirts as Phil’s band wore. Our main drummer, Tim, has chosen to go with the look that Chester Thompson took at the gig, being a white shirt with cut off sleeves. When you see Tim drum, you will understand why he was happy with the look. Staying cool is very important behind the kit!
So, there you have it. The inspiration behind our look for 2018…..
It was a great time for Phil, and we sincerely hope you enjoy the evening and the vibe we have created with our look for the ‘Collections 2018 Tour’.
2018 And Finally Photography by Helen Edwards