EXCLUSIVE TO ABLE2UK
THE WORLDS FIRST EVER REVIEW OF THE NEW TAKE THAT TOUR EXCLUSIVE TO ABLE2UK!
Elstree Studios is the most difficult place to find in the world, well it was if you were in our car last night! Home to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the Big Brother house and even the George Lucas Studios four men are about to be thrown back into the limelight after ten years.
'...Take That are now no more'. Forget the Titanic, Diana's fatal car crash and the day two planes crashed into the World Trade building the most upsetting news coverage for any teenage girl happened in February 1996. The worlds biggest boy band were positioned behind a table in front of the press. Everybody knew why, but nobody wanted to hear the news confirmed, well except East17, Boyzone and every other boyband around that time. Not forgetting a young lad from Stoke! Take That announced they were splitting. It was Gary who broke down first. He couldn't finish those final six words without tears running down his cheek. What followed was playground pandemonium, advice lines were set up, the national news showed all the coverage and music magazines had their next issue covered with Take That articles. Was this really the end?
Of course, the next decade saw a never ending list of TT wannabes, some came close - Boyzone, Westlife and others quickly forgotten - Another Level anybody? None however could relive the frenzy Take That caused. The band became a distant memory and the expectedly of seeing them again seemed very unlikely.
2005 saw a documentary on network television covering the glory days of the boyband and sparked off rumors that a reunion could be on the cards. Nigel Martin Smith, the manager and backbone of the band had gone into the gay clubbing scene, promoting various events around the country, but he was still assigned to the boys, or so he thought. In November Take That announced a tour and sacked Nigel, saying that there was no need for him to be on the tour. This was drastic news for Nigel and indeed ABLE2UK as we had our tickets sorted through his management company for this Summer.
The tour was a complete sell out and is one of the most hottest tickets this year. Record label, Sony BMG had extremely few spare places on their crammed packed guestlist, with no manager behind them it was Gary himself who worked behind the scenes to arrange the nitty gritty plans and a small production team had their hands full. Sugababes , their support act weren't given any guest list allocation and the same went for Beverly Knight (the second support act). The tour was ready, completely sold out - the main venue however, Wembley Stadium wasn't. Because of the stadium shambles the location was changed to Milton Keynes bowl allowing extra tickets to be sold and, most likely, end up on eBay. Although there was an extra show added - which was kept under wraps and extremely secret.
Last night, Thursday 20th April Elstree Studios held the final audition for the tour with an invited friends and families audience. The security was strict with photo ID required for each person. There were no fans outside, amazingly this top secret event was kept away from the press. You want to know what the tour entails don't you? Look we signed a document last night at reception where we promised to keep quiet. Thank goodness we used an pseudonym!...
The two hour show matches the standard of the band past tours with a huge stage and two spiral staircases at either end. The enormous arch bows down throughout the night and doubles as a tiered platform which the boys can walk on and a second podium stage situated half way is used for a Beatles melody when a second platform is lowered allowing the band to walk over the audience, more of that later. One number has a juggler throwing hoops to created a circus type theme and another has a female Latin dancer promenading center stage. The band break in two for a few songs performing at either ends of the stage. All the classics are here along with two new tracks, but they don't give the Take That magic.
Highlights include the tongue-in-cheek 'making a boyband' scene where a the lads are made into a manufactured band with digs at Robbie and their ex manager and even a slight hint that one of them 'may' be gay. Relight My Fire has a blaze of flames fronting the stage and the following scene has actual rain pouring down from the arch. It captures all the best moments from their previous special effects then adds more! The background is a huge wall with expands to show dancers performing in multi boxes and the whole thing is extremely lavish.
The most amazing part happens back at the podium, where after the Beatle melody the 'fab four' actually walk through the audience towards the main stage. Of course the rehearsal showed little risk of the band being mobbed, but the real test will be on the tour itself and the and hinted that they may only do this on their first night if things go out of hand.
Marky stood stage left and sung Babe, last time he did this the audience waved lighters, a decade on mobile phones will be held aloft. Which is quite apt when he 'picks up the phone and dials your number'.
The dance routines are still there, but seeing as the combined age of the band is over a hundred they are spaced out and not so energetic as they were in the nineties.
Robbie even makes an appearance, but before you become too excited it is just an hologram. The second hologram which should appear during the rain sadly didn't happen, one thing which upset Howard when we met him afterwards.
Drinks were laid on in the marquee after the show and the lads escaped upstairs to unwind. Mark had the company of his girlfriend and his dog who wore a security top! Whether this will escalate into a proper comeback is yet to be seen, but if Westlife fancy doing the same in 2016 they still have a long way to go.
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