So, as Gary Barlow picked up his Music Industry Trust Award he gave a little speech:
Barlow himself reminded the audience at the Grosvenor hotel that it hadn't always been easy for him, saying in his acceptance speech that "I loved the fact that I spent seven years in the wilderness, doing a lot of eating".The wilderness, eh? As self-aggrandising claims go, comparing yourself to Jesus is one of the biggies. But was Barlow really, like Jesus, out in the desert having his faith tempted? The "lot of eating" reference suggests superficially that, had the devil suggested he turned stones to bread for a bit of lunch, Barlow would have said he'd already eaten, but more specifically, was Barlow experiencing a period of self-imposed exile?
There was a period when nobody bought his solo records - mainly because they were godawful - but that isn't going into the wilderness; a closer biblical parallel would be that of the scapegoat, with Barlow being made to carry the sin of Take That's collapse.
But after that, Barlow was busy writing songs for people like Charlotte Church and Shirley Bassey. So, not exactly alone and out in the wilds, then.