Walking with a cane, staying in his special chair, taken to hospital after a fall – perhaps Phil Collins’ family spends less time talking about his comeback tour and more about which is the right care home.
The 66-year-old has un-retired, 15 years after his last original album, because, as he said here, “The truth is that I missed you.” He has also said that he wants his younger children to see what he does. Sixteen-year-old Nicholas Collins had the best seat in the house, following in the footsteps of dad, Mike Tyson in The Hangover and the Cadbury’s gorilla, by playing the drum climax of In the Air Tonight.
With his five Albert Hall shows earlier this month reduced to three after his fall, the opening night of Hyde Park’s summer concert season was the best chance for the masses to reacquaint themselves with one of the Eighties’ largest hits collections. Collins, static and amusingly surly in his chair, couldn’t coax much energy from a 13-strong band in the early stages. There wasn’t a bar or loo far enough away to escape the dreary yuppie ballad Separate Lives. But a closing flurry of winner after winner – Dance Into the Light, Invisible Touch, Easy Lover, Sussudio – was impossible to resist. He even cracked a smile, and he wasn’t the only one.