Phil Collins is one of the most successful recording artists of all time – a string of worldwide number one albums and singles resulted in multi-million sales and a succession of prestigious music industry awards during his 40-year career. In fact, Collins is one of only three artists to have sold over 100 million albums as a solo artist and as part of a band – the others being Sir Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
When, in March 2011, Phil Collins announced his retirement, it led many to re-evaluate his considerable musical legacy. So much so that it brought him out of retirement in 2017 to perform a short series of shows across Europe to his fans, both old and new. It’s unlikely to be a permanent return to the stage for Phil but, fortunately, No Jacket Required – the UK’s leading Phil Collins tribute – is continuing to perform his music in their faithful recreation of his live shows.
No Jacket Required frontman, Dave Whitehouse said: “It’s a real pleasure and privilege to perform such great music. There’s so much to choose from, it’s hard to decide what to leave out of our shows!”
Formed in 2002, the band has performed all over the country as well as overseas, to appreciative full houses. Prior to that, Dave spent five years in a Genesis tribute, making him the UK’s most established Phil Collins tribute artist.
The band clearly takes its work seriously and has seen Collins perform on over 30 occasions, in order to hone their take on the superstar singing drummer. Whitehouse even met Phil Collins prior to one of his arena shows in Germany, while in preparation for a show he performed later in Luxembourg: “He was extremely generous with his time and wished me well for my show. It was a special moment and great to be able to thank him for the pleasure his music has given me and so many others”.
When you look back at the catalogue of hits, it’s easy to see why the voice of Phil Collins provided a constant soundtrack to the 1980s and early 1990s. Collins came from behind his drum kit to take on vocal duties in Genesis forty years ago for their 1976 album ‘A Trick Of The Tail’, following the departure of Peter Gabriel. ‘Follow You Follow Me’ became the band’s breakthrough hit in 1978 and was to become the first of 20 Top 10 hits by either Phil Collins or Genesis over the next 20 years. The music has enduring appeal and saw the Genesis ‘R-Kive’ compilation reach the Top 10 of the UK album charts on its release at the end of 2014. When Phil announced that he was coming out of retirement for a short series of shows in June 2017, tickets sold out within a matter of minutes.
So what can you expect from the UK’s leading Phil Collins tribute? Dave has the answer: “A No Jacket Required show lasts over two hours and we perform all the hits plus a few lesser-known album tracks. Our line-up replicates Phil’s own live shows – we are an 11-piece band with a full brass section and backing vocalists. While the emphasis is on the music, it’s also a live spectacle and we all have a lot of fun. Our audience is made up of all ages, from 8 to 80 – there’s something for everyone in our shows”.
Performance: Friday 11 January, 7.30pm at The Hawth Crawley. Tickets: £24.00, available from The Hawth Box Office: 01293 553636 and online: www.hawth.co.uk.