You're back on the road in late November for a run of eight shows. Are you looking forward to getting out to play live again?

I am looking forward to it. We did four weeks or so in the summer and we had a lot of fun and played some great shows. What is nice is that we are now going back to some of the cities that we haven`t played in a long time like Nottingham, Sheffield and of course, Newcastle. That side of it especially will be good fun.

Five years or so you announced retirement from touring. Did you ever think that you`d ever be doing this again?

Not really, no. I think at the time that happened I needed to get away and do something else. I was brought up old school so when you went out on tour, you did it for months and now it can be done differently. That's made it a lot easier for me, so you can go out on tour for two or three weeks and come back and the kids are still the same age.

When did you start getting that itch to play live again?

I'd been doing some charity shows in Miami and Switzerland for the Foundation that me and my ex-wife set up called The Little Dreams Foundation. So I started getting the taste for performing again from that. I started to think that I should be doing this a bit more and my manager, who's been managing me for 40 odd years, likes to see me doing something because he thinks it`s good for me.

When those initial shows were booked demand for tickets was phenomenal. How did you feel when you saw all of those Sold Out signs next to the shows?

Obviously, there was a bit of nervousness when I first decided to do it and I remember I was doing the Chris Evans Show and they'd gone to a commercial at 9 o'clock in the morning and when they came back from the commercial all of the shows had sold out. That was wonderful.

On December 2, you're up in Newcastle. You must have played there dozens of times over the years. You must have some great memories playing at venues like the City Hall?

Newcastle City Hall was always one of the sure fire, great places that we did in those early Genesis days. We had many, many fond memories of playing those shows in Newcastle and that's one of the nice things about this tour is that I'm playing places I haven't played in a long, long time. The show is great, the band is fantastic, we all have a good time and we're looking forward to playing up in Newcastle again after so many years.

You've got eight solo albums and a lot of hits to cram in. How are you going to decide on your setlist?

We did the shows in the summer so we've got the songs worked out. You start off with the songs you have to play that people want to hear. Then you add those that you wished were on that list and then suddenly you're up to a couple of hours. It's not too difficult.

Do you have any space for any Genesis songs or will this be purely a show featuring your solo material?

Yes, I`ll be putting a couple of Genesis songs in there too. It's always great to do a couple of songs by them. You'll have to wait and see which ones though.

Why did you feel the need to create music outside of Genesis when you started your solo career with Face Value?

I had a lot of time and went away to fix my marriage. Tony and Mike started their own records and when I came back they were only halfway through, so I started to do my own album and that became Face Value.

Arguably you biggest success came with No Jacket Required that hit Number 1 across the globe. Why do you think that album in particular hit the spot?

I don't know. Maybe it was a feeding frenzy of radio airplay and maybe it was coincidental timing. I don't know really. I'm not complaining though. It's great that it was so successful. I`m very proud of that record.

What about 2018? What are your plans for next year?

I'll probably do some more shows somewhere but nothing is booked yet. There are plans but nothing solid so we'll have to wait and see but there will be more shows.

  • Phil Collins plays at the Metro Arena, Newcastle, December 2.