Monday, April 24, 2006


After all the build-up, Take That reunited in Newcastle last night. And what was it like? Great make-up sex or an awkward meeting?

The sex one, apparently.

Howard Donald kicked things off by apologising for breaking up in the first place:
“This is absolutely beautiful. We’re speechless. We told you in ’95 we’d be together for as long as you wanted but we split up — we’re sorry.
“We upset you and we upset ourselves as well. We are so proud of you and that’s from the heart. It’s a real celebration putting this evening on for you.”

Victoria Newton, who'd grabbed The Sun's tickets, loved it – but then she's never given anything a bad review as far as we can recall:
The non-stop, 90-minute gig was a War Of The Worlds-type spectacular of fire, wind and rain.
Non-stop, in the sense of ending after 90 minutes, she means. And we're not entirely sure if she really expects a Martian invasion to take the form of heavy wind and rain – she must be convinced that she's heading for the sugar mines as soon as there's a thunderstorm.
Like a quality bottle of red wine, Take That have got even better with age. Never Forget? How could we, boys.
Like wine, then, eh?The Manchester Evening News sniffed a different drink in the air:
Mexican waves of women clutching Bacardi breezers swept through the 9,000 strong audience before the Manchester lads came out to a stunning reception.
The MEN, like a lot of the reviews, overplayed the length of the gap since the last Take That gig – you'd have thought they were last out in the 1920s or something:
Camera phones would not have been a major feature of their last live show, more than a decade ago, but they were strongly in evidence tonight as fans grabbed a memento of the evening.
It's equally unlikely that any of the audience at the last dates turned up in hovvercars or went home to lifepods flying above the troposphere, too.
The 3AM Girls in the Mirror was astonished that the audience didn't resemble Cocoon:
the tempo of the show - heavily influenced by lavish Las Vegas productions - was frenetically paced rather than tailored to fans with pacemakers.
Take That split up a decade ago, so most of their fans are going to be – at tops – in their late 20s; it's hardly as if this is Denis Norden's retirement tour.
MegaStar was mesmerised by the enormous Robbie:
And if the boyband didn't manage to recruit the real Robbie, they at least gave the fans a taste of the next best thing - a hologram.

Some would say a computer-generated version of the Robster is preferable to the real thing, but that's just being mean.

Ulster TV at least provided reassurance:
The solo singer, in hologram form, joined the four-piece last night with re-recorded vocals of their number one hit, Could It Be Magic.

He stood still with his hands in his pockets wearing ripped jeans and a camouflage jacket for the intro of the hit, before the other band members took over the song and the hologram faded.

At least he fades, then. The rest of the band didn't, as the The Independent reckoned:
And as they deliver their impressive catalogue of hits the fans sing-along as if it was 1996 again. The atmosphere is rather like a super-sized hen party where the strippers may have attended (there's more than a touch of The Full Monty about the older Take That) but the groom has no intention of actually showing up in the flesh.
But Martin James wasn't entirely convinced:
It's time to stop mourning, girls, the helpline has finally closed, and if the awful Beatles medley doesn't make this that clear, surely nothing will. It's a section of the show which suggests Take That will be enjoying their next comeback tour in 10 years' time on board a cruise ship.
The Guardian, though, was back to the complete overplaying of the distance since they split:
Take That remained an anachronistic experience. You half expected Dan Cruickshank to appear onstage and explain to younger viewers what was going on here.
Yes… that'd be a young audience who are completely incapable of imaginging, say, a Westlife gig.
Still, Alexis Petridis did at least spot that Robbie's presence wasn't restricted to a giant hologram:
a sequence […] mocked the band's manufactured origins - "the boys must always be ambiguous about their sexuality" boomed a voice.


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