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Phil Collins - Live And Loose In Paris

A release from the 1997 tour on VHS video and DVD

In 1997 Phil Collins went on tour again to promote his then current album Dance Into The Light. Though he had not been on tour for two years and recently had announced that he had left Genesis the interval could hardly be considered a real break. There had been a minor Big Band tour in summer 1996, and Collins had probably spent most of the time in the studio.

The Dance Into The Light tour began in Florida in late February and had two months’ worth of North American dates. The European leg of the tour was as long and kicked off in early October. The shows were played in big indoor venues only. The new circular stage did not admit of anything else. The tour itself was quite short (80 dates) compared to Collins’ previous solo tours (127 gigs on the Serious tour, 159 on Both Sides).

The live band had not changed since 1995. Only two musicians augmented it. Luis Conte was finally a percussionist who fit into the musical concept. Collins had tried out another percussionist during the rehearsals for the 1994 tour, but that did not work out. Another addition to the band was Phil’s old friend Ronnie Caryl.

Dance Into The Light was a musical u-turn compared to its predecessor. The album was recorded with a band, in fact, with the tour line-up. The gloomy sound of Both Sides gave way to a more positive approach, and the round stage fit that well. In 1990 they also sold the seats behind the stage, but the band setup then was still static like an end stage. The stage design theme was a music steamer complete with a stage built of planks and decorated with life preservers and portholes.

CoverOn December 8 and 9, 1997 the “cruise liner” moored directly at the Seine river in the Palais Omnisport in Paris-Bercy, France. After that these shows there was only an additional show in Dortmund, Germany, and the final four shows in London’s Earls Court. Most of the shows lay behind them, and the tour set had changed several times. Both Sides Of The Story and Can’t Turn Back The Years now represented the previous album in the set – after half the European and all American tour dates had been played without a single Both Sides song. Though both songs were played in Paris neither was included in the DVD. The Finally… The First Farewell Tour DVD has not got any Both Sides songs either, so we sadly note that today, at what is likely the end Phil Collins’ live career, there are no official live versions of a Both Sides song on video or DVD. And that’s a shame.

Seriously Live In Berlin was released uncut. Now Collins falls back to the times of No Ticket Required and Live At Perkins Palace, in other words: They merrily cut songs out of the set (for details, see below). It is regrettable that, for example, the solo version of Do You Remember Collins would play on the e-piano was left out. There were up to eight songs from Dance Into The Light in the early setlists. Five of them made it to the end of the tour, and why only three of those are on the video is beyond the reviewer.  Another song surprisingly established itself in the set, a twelve year old song that had never been played live before: Long Long Way To Go. This one and the newly-designed drum trio Timbantiocha are the only songs that could not be heard and seen in one version or another on tour videos before. 

Director David Mallet who recently worked with Genesis on their 2007 When In Rome film manages to capture the unique atmosphere of the round stage. The cameras catch the surprise in the eyes of the audience when Phil walks down the aisle towards the stage singing. There are many fine long shots of the stage, and in the second half of the show (at the latest!) the party mood reaches the living room – all this without any cameras on stage.

Were it not for songs like Lorenzo or Long Long Way To Go or special things like the round stage you would justly wonder whether the world really needed this concert film. Well, at least they have recorded and released another Phil Collins tour after seven years. If you are still hoping for official live footage of Both Sides song, may your endless wait be finally reworded with a DVD from that tour.

Setlist Paris 08./09.12.1997 (songs on Live And Loose In Paris printed in bold):

Hand In Hand
Hang In Long Enough
Don't Lose My Number
River So Wide
Take Me Down
Find A Way To My Heart
Another Day In Paradise
Can't Turn Back The Years
Against All Odds
Separate Lives
Both Sides Of The Story
Do You Remember?
Long Long Way To Go
One More Night
In The Air Tonight
Easy Lover
Dance Into The Light
Wear My Hat
You Can't Hurry Love
Two Hearts
Something Happend On The Way To Heaven
Take Me Home


Phil Collins – drums, piano, percussions
Ronnie Caryl – rhythm guitar
Brad Cole – keyboards
Luis Conte – percussions
Nathan East – bass
Amy Keys – backing vocals
Ricky Lawson – drums
Arnold McCuller – backing vocals
Daryl Stuermer – guitar

Vine St. Horns:
Daniel Fornero – trumpet
Harry Kim – trumpet
Arturo Velasco – trombone
Andrew Woolfolk – saxophones

by Ulrich Klemt

translated by Martin Klinkhardt

Phil Collins

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