The singer who made a career out of performing for millionaires
Carly Colgan Bates interviews Phil Collins (not that one), lead singer of The Celebrations Lotto HQ band.
The Celebrations are far from a household name but the band has provided the soundtrack to many winners’ most memorable moments over the past 30 years.
Some people might dismiss them as one-hit wonders but that one hit has been announcing new Lotto winners for three decades, ever since the National Lottery opened for business. While searching for their big break, the band couldn’t believe their luck when Derek from the National Lottery approached them about the gig of a lifetime.
They would get to sing their inimitable cover of Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration“ hit and get paid for it… the dream, right? Wrong!
We caught up with Phil Collins (not that one!), The Celebrations’ leading man, to discuss the band, that song, and to find out what’s next for the band.
Phil, first of all, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We appreciate that you’re a busy man, so it’s much appreciated!
Honestly, anything to get a break from the others. 30 years is a long time singing the same song, with the same people, in the same building.
Wow, 30 years is a long time. Is the band happy after all these years?
Well, we’re certainly not bored… There are more Lotto winners than ever so we are all exhausted from singing Celebration. I genuinely believe the band has gone crazy. Kim drums in her sleep, Karl has formally applied to marry Betsie (his Keytar…) and Jerry is talking about a solo career. Jerry is a cool guy but he sounds like a whale when he sings. Did you know that this year there will be even more winners? The odds of winning are now one in 10. I don’t know how we’re going to do it.
It’s no secret that your solo career was a bit of a non-starter. Why do you feel your attempt at going solo failed?
I wouldn’t say that it failed. I am a very talented and extremely good-looking man. I have what it takes to succeed, trust me.. If I ever won a substantial sum of money, not through playing the Lotto of course, I would finance my own solo career. Do you know that the National Lottery will make an estimated 16 millionaires this year in Ireland?
So, you don’t play the Lotto yourself then, Phil?
No, we’re not allowed to play. It’s written into our contracts. Think about it, who would sing Celebration, if I won? So even if I was secretly playing the same numbers with the Lotto Plus, every Wednesday and Saturday since 1991, I couldn’t possibly say.
You’ve been romantically linked with a long list of women throughout the years, including your fellow band member, Kim. Are you seeing anyone currently?
This is awkward. Look, I’m an effortlessly charming and charismatic man. Sometimes people misinterpret this as flirting, like you seem to have. My apologies if I’ve given you the wrong impression.
One last question Phil, do you…. [Winner’s siren sounds in the background]
Another winner, I can’t do this for much longer… I have to go, my apologies!
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Note: The Celebrations is a fictional band, and all characters represented are fictitious.