AN INVISIBLE TOUCH: Newcastle’s finest bring the songs of Phil Collins to life on stage at Lizotte’s

There’s something In The Air Tonight at Lizotte’s. The people behind last years You Oughta Know – the Songs of Alanis Morissette show are back with a new production working their way through the songs of the one and only Phil Collins. The place is packed, and there are good vibes in the room.

And when the show starts, we’re not disappointed. Even if you caught the man himself on his recent Australian tour, Phil’s discography, including his work with Genesis, is really being turned Inside Out on stage here tonight. We’re not sure what they’re drinking over in their rehearsal space but these folks really do have an Invisible Touch when it comes to taking what could easily be “just another tribute show” to new levels.

But before we get too far into the review, in the efforts of full disclosure, I should tell you that I’ve worked with a lot of the people on stage at Lizotte’s tonight and consider many of them my friends.

The Band

We love our live music here at Newcastle Live and, in our book, that all starts with the band. Tonight it’s led by the always impressive Dan Wilson whos experience when it comes to holding the reins of massive bands is well documented. And the band he’s leading tonight, complete with 3 piece horn section, is nothing short of world-class which is good because as anyone who’s ever taken on a Phil Collins’ or Genesis’ number will tell you, these songs aren’t easy to play – Tonight Dan and the band have a whole show of them to manage. Dan’s all over it though and he’s no slouch on the vocal duties either, he’s on stage for most of the show, he’s working hard, and he’s making it look effortless.

The Vocals

Marty Worral could have pulled the vocal parts for this show off all by himself. His take on smash-hits Something Happened On The Way To Heaven and In The Air Tonight are so on point it’s insane. But it’s his passionate performance of the Genesis track No Son Of Mine that sits this reviewer right on his arse tonight. He approaches the vocal like a master sushi chef with a knife. Carving out seemingly effortless slices of pitch-perfect melody delivered with precision and grace – The whole thing is shatteringly emotive. Worrall is a true craftsman and his dedication to reproducing the intricacies of artists like Phil Collins is really on display here tonight.

The Voice alumnus Anyerin Drury is in fine form too. His enthusiastic delivery of Land Of Confusion is an early highlight and his delivery of songs like Sussudio and One More Night prove why he’s quickly joined the ranks of Newcastle’s most sought after performers. From where I stand Anyerin is morphing as an artist and I for one can’t wait to see where he, and that impressive beard, land.

It’s hard not to smile when Marissa Sarroca hits the stage. I’ve been watching Marissa perform for years, and her ability to bring the happy vibes and make everyone in the audience feel like the most important person in the room has always astounded me. It doesn’t matter who’s in front of her, Marissa connects and with a voice that could melt hearts, it’s easy to see why she’s the perfect fit for these productions. When you think Newcastle singers Marissa is always on the list, she’s become an integral part of our local arts culture and she’s shining bright tonight. Her arrival is greeted with much applause as the riff for I Can’t Dance kicks in and the vocal performance she delivers is like a hug from your best friend.

There are people who can sing, and then there are singers. Karyn Raftery proves again tonight why she is the latter. The understanding Karyn has of her voice allows her to take a song such as Jesus He Knows Me somewhere it hasn’t been before and pull off Another Day In Paradise like it’s never been covered. Karyn is the hit of the show tonight and she’s all people are talking about at the bar.

Last year’s You Oughta Know – the Songs of Alanis Morissette show was so popular they did an encore performance. Let’s hope they do One More Night (sorry, couldn’t help myself) of this show in the near future too.