Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Take That: Boyband to manband; tween fan to 'grown-up'

I was only eight when Robbie left Take That but I remember seeing the news on television and I remember that he went a bit mad and died his hair blonde. In the run up to seeing Take That on Saturday I must admit I'd forgotten he'd rejoined - obviously I knew he had but it hadn't really sunk that he'd be there, on stage. Therefore for many girls in their tweens when the fabulous five first became four, Take That's three act-style format to its Progress Tour is perfect. Starting as a four-piece we were able to admire the comeback with what have been some of TT's best work with stadium-pleasers Rule the World, Patience and Shine. It was note perfect and simply brilliant, you cannot fault it.

Having not read reviews previously (it ruins, or heightens expectation) I wasn't ready for a Robbie solo slot. I would've paid for a ticket for this five song section alone. There have been several times I've sat watching Knebworth and the like and wanted to be singing back in those enormous crowds. Angels, Let Me Entertain You and Feel hold special memories for many and for TT to recognise the lyrics, melody and sentiment behind those songs stands to represent the quality of music they produce. Plus it got Robbie's ego out of the way for the group stuff.

From then on the show felt like one long reunion party, the recently released new-age material mixing in well with songs I'd grown up with and made up dance routines to. The audience knew when to sing, TT knew what to say and the set design moved or stayed appropriately for each song. It was a shame a previous malfunction stopped the band from performing on the robot. But then with songs and voices like theirs, TT doesn't need a spectacle. I doubt Gary Barlow found that in his X Factor auditions the next day either.