Formed in September 2007 ‘And Finally… Phil Collins’ began rehearsals at my home in a remote part of Dorset overlooking the sea. From the moment we struck up the first few notes of ‘Another Day In Paradise’ goose bumps appeared and I knew this was going to be special. A strict rehearsal regime began alongside the process of pulling together all of the musicians needed. By arranging an opening night for September 2008 a target was set for us to complete all of the necessary preparation for the start of gigging. As the band grew in size our now second rehearsal studio became a bit cramped and overcrowded so larger premises were required and rehearsals became more challenging but equally rewarding.
There were quite a few emotional moments as we crafted harmonies and began the arduous task of re-creating that distinctive Collins sound. The icing on the cake was the formation of the horn section. A trio of superb musicians full of energy, who added such authenticity to the musical performance as well as great visuals throughout the show. It was obvious to me from the outset that this show could only express itself properly within a theatre environment and it has been so rewarding to feel the warmth that audiences show for Mr. Collin’s music. People began to travel far and wide to join us and celebrate the songs of this amazing man, however, I knew in my heart that if my vision was to come to fruition then we needed serious help and to be fast tracked on to theatre circuit, and for me, there was only ever one solution.
For more than a decade I had watched ‘Talon’ progress through the ranks with their brilliant ‘Best of Eagles’ show, and so in 2010 I approached Chris Lloyd and Peter Anderson and am thrilled to report that there was an instant chemistry between us. Chris and Peter are not only the founder members of ‘Talon’ but also the management team and were looking to expand their operations. I was determined that ‘And Finally’ would be the object of their new found ambitions and so over the next few years we built up a healthy respect and Talon Music Ltd put several theatre tours our way culminating in being recognized in 2013 by the ‘Agents Association of Great Britain’ as the ‘OFFICIAL No.1’ Phil Collins tribute show.
Then in late 2014 Chris called me to say that they thought we had taken things as far as they could go. Now I am not someone that gives up that easily. “What about if I made ‘And Finally’ a totally professional, full time touring show” I said. “That would mean some big changes and tough decisions on your part” he replied. I already knew that of course. I was fully aware that some band members were not interested in committing to a life on the road. Nevertheless, after more lengthy and candid discussions, I convinced Chris and Peter that the necessary changes would be made. So throughout 2015 whilst the old line-up was touring for the last time, the new ‘And Finally… Phil Collins’ was being born, and so began the most intense, stressful and exciting time of my career.
I am so proud of what we have all achieved as a team as we begin the new chapter in the continuing story of ‘And Finally… Phil Collins’. Our mission has always been to perform the great man’s music as accurately as possible with all instruments being played ‘live’. So here’s to the future and we’ll see you all very soon.