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It’s Human Nature for Phil Burton to be ‘nervous’ about solo shows


Legendary Aussie performer Phil Burton admits “going it alone” for a series of solo shows is “kind of nerve-wracking”.

And, that’s a surprising confession from one quarter of iconic vocal group Human Nature, who have performed before millions of people throughout the world.

In an exciting first, the ARIA Hall of Famer will bring his Songs That Shaped My Soul tour to Newcastle venue, Lizotte’s, on Friday 10 February.

The intimate gig promises to be a fresh insight into the music that forged the life and career of one of the country’s most loved entertainers.

Phil Burton with fellow Human Nature members Toby Allen, Mike and Andrew Tierney.

“I’m looking forward to the tour,” Burton said.

“But, believe it or not, in the 33 years I’ve been performing on stage, I’ve never done a proper solo show.

“I have got up and sung with people sometimes.

“Or, now and again, I’ve presented a party set for a mate here and there.

“So, I have to admit, it’s making me a little bit anxious.

“However, at the same time, it’s a good nervous energy; I’m not freaking out.”

Burton, who recently joined forces with fellow Human Nature members Toby Allen, Andrew and Mike Tierney for a number of Christmas performances in Sydney and Canberra, has no regrets relocating back Down Under, while the others remain in the States.

But, he’s keen to share his own personal musical journey to a new audience.

“That’s the situation we’ve found ourselves in, due to personal reasons,” he said.

“I returned to Australia two years ago because I wanted my family to live here… where we felt more at home.

“Don’t get me wrong, we loved Las Vegas.

“However, we just never felt it was our ‘forever home’ whereas Australia does.

“So, we’ve worked it out as a group.

“Toby, Andrew and Mike still do a show in Las Vegas.

“And, when they return to Australia, I jump back on board – and it’s the four of us again.”

In the meantime, local fans can expect to hear tracks such as Soul Man, Hard To Handle, I Heard It Through The Grapevine and (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, as well as contemporary tunes and, of course, a few classic takes on Human Nature originals and greatest hits.

“It gives me more freedom to pick and choose what I want to do,” Burton told the Newcastle Weekly.

“I guess that’s the main reason why the show is called the Songs That Shaped My Soul.

“Because, at the end of the day, it’s about me, not about the group putting together a great concert.

“It is also about me taking people of a very personal journey through the tunes that influenced me.

“Whether it affected me as a kid, songs that I grew up loving and singing along with on the radio or it’s the tracks that have touched my career as a singer.

“There will be some in there that you are familiar with, as far as me being part of Human Nature.

“But, there’s also going to be some surprises of songs that have affected me greatly in my life outside the group.

“I won’t reveal too much just yet.

“However, it’s going to be a good mix… mostly a soul-based show but with some surprises thrown in here and there.

“Songs you might not necessarily expect from me.”

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