Saturday 21 April 2018

Retirement drove me to drink so I'm hitting the road again, says Phil Collins

Phil Collins has announced a series of live shows at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017
Phil Collins has announced a series of live shows at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017

Phil Collins has announced a comeback tour - saying he has changed his mind about retirement.

The 65-year-old former Genesis frontman will play five nights at London's Royal Albert Hall next summer as well as dates in Cologne and Paris.

The In The Air Tonight and Another Day In Paradise star officially retired in 2002.

But Collins, who has previously spoken about his battle with the bottle following a divorce fight with his third wife - with whom he later got back together - told a press conference that retirement was "a funny word".

He said: "I stopped work because I wanted to be a dad at home. As bad luck would have it, as soon as I retired, my family split up.

"I didn't have anyone to go home to. That's why I started drinking."

But the drummer and singer said of his retirement: "I've changed my mind.

"I'm living with my young kids. They want me to go out on the road and do my thing, and why not?"

He said he was not nervous and was looking forward to the tour.

Collins, who has been using a crutch because of injuries caused by years of drumming, said he was unlikely to play drums - although he would like to attempt the famous introduction to In The Air Tonight.

He said: "A lot of people think of me as shiny BMW music. I'm actually the complete opposite of that."

Jools Holland introduced the star - who was using a stick and donned a baseball cap - at a press conference at the Royal Albert Hall.

In a possible nod to the health problems the singer has suffered in recent years, the tour has been called Phil Collins: Not Dead Yet, Live.

It will be a "romp through the stuff people know", the singer said of the gigs, to take place in June next year.

Collins, who has sold over 100 million records and is also plugging an autobiography, has not toured since 2007.

He said that he has no idea what would be on his rider - but told how he got so fed up with badly made steak tartare when he was given it every night on tour that he "put it on the wall as a warning to others. And I've never seen them again!"

He said of the prospect of a Genesis return: "I wouldn't rule out anything."

Press Association

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