Take That Progress Tour

Take That Progress Tour
Take That Progress Tour Image credit:

Thanks to the sheer popularity of Take That, when the lads embark on a tour even those without a ticket seems to know what their shows consists of.

Last time when their Circus tour rolled into town it seems as if the world and his wife were aware there would be a blue elephant trampling through a stadium somewhere over the country. This year the interest turns to the reunion of Robbie Williams. Yes, there may be a gigantic caterpillar carrying the guys to and from the centre stage and obviously, the huge robotic kneeling robot certainly looks impressive, but it’s the Robster which steals the show with a five-song solo set embedded within this two hour spectacular.

The Stoke-on-Trent chap doesn’t make an appearance until six songs in, but as we mentioned before, you probably knew this already. Before Williams we start with five strong numbers which include Greatest Day, Hold Up A Light and Shine, where Mr. Caterpillar (smoking a pipe)makes his first appearance carrying Mark Own in-between the main and centre stages surrounded by roller-skating bees, dancing trees and a hare thrown in for good measure.

So far, so Take That what we have come to expect from the band, although the arrival of Williams will remind us of the contrast of his solo career opposed to his early days as a band member. Making an egotistic welcome, aided by the odd polytechnics, Williams lands on stage complete with references to Jason’s sexuality, because he is the only single member of the band, suggestive hand gestures and introducing himself as Robbie ‘F-ing’ Williams...And the crowd wouldn’t want it any other way. The roller-skating dancers who assisted the foursome earlier like entrainment for a kids Happy Meal birthday party now seem to bear resemblance to waitresses at Hooters in his presence.

His recent album sales may have damaged his ego but with the fans singing back the words to Feel as he glides over the crowd in an open pyramid there’s no cause for a safety wire. Robbie rounds off his mini concert by dedicating Angels to a few friends he has lost over recent weeks as lighters are swayed across Wembley Stadium.

From Angels to reincarnations as Robbie is reunited with his four band mates, of course there’s cause for a Bond-like dive from the top of the stage as Williams takes centre stage once again during Flood, the first five-some of the evening.

After SOS, a track calling out to be saved by a captivating Barlow chorus and a track off the Progress album (Underground Machine) the band take time out for childish antics on the centre playground for a rendition of Kidz complete with Robbie’s rapping and a dance off between Jason and Howard.

The trip down memory lane passes a few verses from Million Love Songs, Babe and Everything Changes before settling down with Pray and Never Forget under the shadow of the 60ft mechanical robot, which incidentally the band have christened Om.

Closing with Relight My Fire and another track off Progress, ‘Eight Letters’ the show, which will be watched by 1.75 million fans before it wraps up in Germany later this month, was nothing short of spectacular.

As the crowd braved the traffic queues home their minds must have wondered what the next tour will bring, although as will any Take That tour, we already know what it will consist of...An incredible performance from the biggest and most loved boy band since the Beetles and even they couldn’t muster up a smoking caterpillar!