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Thrill Collins reflect on a great year

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Friday, 29th November 2019, 09:00

Thrill Collins (L-R) Robbie, Peter and Andrew Thrill Collins (L-R) Robbie, Peter and Andrew

Thrill Collins are well known in these parts for being one of the most entertaining acts around.

Made up of lead singer and guitarist Robbie Pert, double bassist Andrew Lansley and cajón player Peter Harper, the trio are famous for their reworkings and medleys of pop songs from the 80s, 90s and early noughties.

“We’re a skiffle band in the sense we’re all acoustic, ‘DIY’ style,” said Robbie. “The skiffle bands of the 50s would cover songs from the previous decades and we do that too.

“We play songs you thought you despised, and make you realise you don’t. Our only criteria is that it needs to be funny that we’re doing it.

“That doesn’t mean it has to be corny – although we’ve got plenty of those! It’s more like playing songs by girl groups and people like Christina Aguilera who sing five octaves higher than me so we have to rework them to suit my baritone.”

The trio formed the band around nine years ago.

Andrew, a popular music lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire and Robbie, who studied and went on to work at the university, were joined by Peter in the band while he was also studying there.

Since then Thrill Collins have gone from strength to strength, becoming regular favourites at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and performing at festivals all over the country, including Glastonbury.

“We’ve played there a few times before on the bandstand and as a walkabout band,” said Robbie.

“This year we did that again and also did a 1am set in the Shangri La area – we left Cheltenham at 6am and were up until 3am the next day, it was a feat of endurance.”

2019 has also included a spring tour, sets at 2000Trees and a host of other festivals, with Robbie adding that this year has been a great one for the band.

He said: “It’s been amazing, probably the best we’ve had.

“We try to build on every year and we played more festivals than ever this year, including ones we’ve always wanted to and ones we’d never even heard of but turned out to be amazing.”

When he spoke to The Local Answer, Robbie was preparing for Thrill Collins’ winter tour, which began in early November.

The tour has taken the band all over the country, to venues in Cardiff, Liverpool, Oxford and more, and will culminate with Christmas shows in Cheltenham and Bristol.

‘Thrill Collins’ Hometown Xmas Knees Up’ at the Bottle of Sauce sold out way in advance, with this being the first chance for audiences to see the band in the town since the Jazz Festival in May.

Robbie added: “We try not to play Cheltenham too often because we don’t want to be that band you see every weekend when you open the door.

“Last time we played the Bottle of Sauce it was pretty raucous. Hometown gigs are always special because we have friends and partners who come along and there’s always going to be a great party atmosphere.”

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