Here are the philtastic excerpts:
Phil returned to his percussion palace, but only to grab a chair and bring it towards us. Neil officially welcomed him to the front of the stage, “making his UK debut.” And in case we got worried when he disappeared from view, Neil pointed to the Argos keyboard and said he would be just there, “just so you know”. Phil sat down with an acoustic guitar and praised the “sitting down time,” then looked at the pathetic sweaty standing mass in front of him and said, “why don’t you join me?” I’m sure we wished we could.
As Phil started plucking the strings of his guitar, I saw that Neil was also playing an acoustic guitar rather than the keyboards beside him. The two played an introduction that initially reminded me of the Hunters and Collectors much covered song (including by Finns; it was written by Mark Seymour, brother of Crowded House’s Nick) Throw Your Arms Around Me. Rather than some subtle sign that it was time to add vocals, Phil just asked Neil if he were ready, and Neil replied with exaggerated gusto “oh, yeah!” They performed The Ties That Bind Us ...
As John beamed at the back of the stage, Neil asked Phil if he had another tune for us, insisting “I think you have!” Phil appeared from wherever he had been and sat centre stage with an acoustic guitar, with Neil returning to the keyboard. Phil said it was quite fun up front and he and Neil kidded that there was no going back now that Phil was getting a taste for it. It was a joke but I think most people present would encourage him to write more and provide lead vocals more often in the future, as he’s a wasted talent just tucked at the back with drums, no matter how amazing a drummer he is. [Phil doesn’t seem to have been involved in as many projects as some of his Radiohead colleagues, although he did work on the McCusker/Woomble/Drever album Before the Ruin, which is funny as he not only reminded me a bit of John McCusker, but that John played at the last gig I saw. Phil also appeared with Jarvis Cocker as a band member in a Harry Potter film (Goblet of Fire) and played his (animated) self in an old South Park episode, plus does amazing work with the Samaritans. So an all around interesting and surprisingly outgoing person.)
More mobile phone interference right when a soft song was about to begin had much of the audience grumbling “Turn it off!” but Neil just referred to Phil having offers pouring in now, and they did not let it disturb them. Phil sang a heavenly song he had written, The Witching Hour, in a wispy, beautifully delicate voice, with Neil accompanying him on electric piano. The tune was easy to love, and snippets of the lyrics were “Take me, take me out into the night”, “hold me, hold me, I am like a child” and “those I love carry me home, carry me home”. Neil joined in on some truly haunting harmonies at the end, and the song was certainly one of the many highlights of the evening. Glenn and John’s constant smiles had competition from the audience who had fallen under Phil’s bewitching spell.