I have never been a great fan of Phil Collins. It’s probably due to a combination of things. I liked Genesis until Collins stepped from behind the drum kit and changed the band from genuinely good prog rock to AOR. I couldn’t stand his solo work because it was safe, dull and derivative. I didn’t like the fact that he cared so much about homelessness he wrote a song about it, Another Day in Paradise, and to emphasise the point still further, he then fucked off to Switzerland to avoid paying his fair share of tax which might just have helped in the fight against homelessness. The main reason I can’t stand him is that he is a twat.

Collins has more money than god, but has decided to go back on the road. He’s just completed a short residency at the Royal Albert Hall where, for three nights, he knocked out three identical sets. But I just saw a few clips of the shows and immediately thought, why? Suffering from severe back problems, he hobbled onto the stage, using a stick, and then sat down, barely moving for the rest of the set, apart from at the interval when he hobbled off again. The voice was unmistakably Collins, but he had terrible trouble hitting the high notes.

I suppose some people might have admiration for the old boy for railing against the dying of the light. I suppose, albeit grudgingly, I do too. There must be some level of addiction for the rock star, especially the quickly fading one. The need to be loved, the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. Sitting in his conservatory, gazing at the land previously dominated by Julie Andrews, Collins must have missed all that. Having tired of counting his money over and over again, he felt the need to play the old songs all over again.

I cannot deny that there is a market for this sort of tour. The heritage act has joined the mainstream and Collins’s dates sold out very quickly. My loyal reader will know that I have attended the odd heritage show now and then (Brian Wilson and Bad Company are recent examples), but I will prefer to choose a show at which there is new music. Phil Collins is playing the old tunes and only the old tunes. If I was a fan, I’d be quite depressed about that.

Some dates have now been cancelled following the revelation that Collins was on his way for a nocturnal pee and slipped in the bathroom, gashing his head open. I hope he recovers quickly but I also hope he considers whether what he is doing is worth it. He doesn’t look terribly happy on stage as I wouldn’t, warbling through tedious oldies such as In The Air Tonight. Whether I like him or not – and you have probably gathered I don’t – he is not exactly enhancing his reputation and it would be awful if he was remembered this way, a slightly shambling, very unwell man who can’t sing anywhere near as well as he used to. Maybe the old memories are better than the new ones.