Review of 'British Summer Time 2017: Phil Collins'

phil_collins.jpeg https://www.bst-hydepark.com/events/detail/21

Have always wanted to see Phil Collins so when tickets came up to see him as part of the British Summer Time series of summer concerts, we grabbed several straightaway. We did not cough up the money for the much more expensive tickets that gave access to the area immediately in front of the stage opting instead for a general admission ticket.

Arriving shortly after the gates opened at 2 pm the queue for security at the main gates near Marble Arch was reasonable and passed fairly quickly in the fairly warm afternoon. The venue is quite amazing, encompassing a massive area of the park surrounded by a tall fence, it has a good number of very good places to eat (street vendors) arranged into smaller areas of the grounds.

There were three stages but we chose to find a spot in front of the “Great Oak Stage”, the biggest. The area in front of the “Great Oak Stage” is, as always, dominated by a large tower smack in the middle of the sight-lines for the stage for much of the audience. To the far right of the stage is the VIP stands which were quite packed for most of the day. We found a spot just behind and to the left of the large tower with very good sight of the stage (except when people stood up, which was, unfortunately, for most of the concerts). The staff at the entrance were good at keeping out most camping chairs but a few managed to get through anyway but this did not really pose too much of a problem except for the space they took.

The day had a series of concerts by different performers on each of the stages. At Great Oak it was first “Starsailor” at 3 pm then “KC and the Sunshine Band” at 4, “Mike + The Mechanics” at 5:30, “Blondie” at 7 and finally Phil Collins at 8:50. “Starsailor” is a local group that was quite good and we really enjoyed putting on a reasonable show. “KC and the Sunshine Band” was full of life but we found frankly quite disappointing. “Mike + The Mechanics” were amazing with fantastic music and lyrics accompanying an amazing stage presence though without too much in the way of visuals on the big screens wrapping the stage. “Blondie” was hugely disappointing putting on a lacklustre performance despite an amazing set of visuals behind the stage. Given the nature of the crowd wanting to relive the glory days of all of these older acts they could care less and sang along with her fairly bored performance.

The highlight of course was Phil Collins who dominated from the minute he stepped on the stage. Recent medical issues has meant he had difficultly standing during the show so spent his time singing from a chair on the stage. This in no way diminished his performance of many of his classic pieces including “Another Day in Paradise”, “Something Happened on the way to Heaven”, Genesis classic “Follow You Follow Me” (which my companion greatly enjoyed though the crowd generally did not know), “Invisible Touch”, and “In the Air Tonight”. After playing his favourite “Wake up Call” Phil introduced us to his 16 year-old son who played the drums with great power and precision throughout the evening, following in his father's footsteps. Phil ended the main set with “Sussudio” to a great fanfare with the crowd, as always, singing along. There was a single encore where he returned with, appropriately, “Take Me Home”. His voice throughout was incredible and as almost as if he had not aged a day. The passion of his singing was truly incredible and was contagious.

At £85 each (plus a £10.50 service charge) it was not cheap but it did give us pretty much a full day of entertainment. Phil was absolutely incredible with “Mike + The Mechanics” a great supporting act but with KC and Blondie disappointing. The food was very good in the various stalls we visited and we particularly enjoyed the fact we could use touch-less payments everywhere so did not need to carry cash.

Rating:

Review Date: 2017-06-30



Hyde Park

Location: London (England)

Address: Hyde Park, London ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Hyde Park Corner TUBE Marble Arch

URL: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park

Hyde Park is an amazing green space in the middle of London. With a large amount of trees there is also plenty of grass on which to enjoy good weather. “The Serpentine” is a small lake in the middle of the park that has swimming (in summer) and a few cafes along it's shoreline. The Serpentine Gallery is an art gallery just off of the one road (West Carriage Drive) that runs through the middle of the park north - south. On the extreme west end is Kensington Palace, former home to Princess Diana but also open for visitors. The Albert Memorial on the south-west side of the park is opposite the Royal Albert hall but is also surrounded by formal gardens which are wonderful in the spring and summer.

Hyde Park regularly plays host to many events including large concerts in the north east corner (near Marble Arch) in the summer and Winter Wonderland (in the same location) at Christmas. The Olympics in 2012 used park for several events.