Star rating – 9/10
Well, after the mad scramble to get my hands on tickets for the Progress tour from the TT boys, and the fantastic reviews of the tour so far, not to mention the reunion of Robbie and the now arguably more successful band, it’s fair to say I was really looking forward to this gig.
And, as was the case with their last Circus tour, you would be hard pressed to beat TT for a fantastic show. Among the crowd of women of a certain age, many with their young daughters in tow, TT are hard pressed to do any wrong. Even the attendees of the non adoring persuasion could not failed to be wowed by the magnificent light display; dancing troupe; breadth of material covered; and the infectious enthusiasm of Take That. They are endearing as they really do seem to be truly grateful to the fans for putting them back on top of the entertainment tree. And it is a tribute to their comeback that is was a long way into the show that they played any of their crowd delighting older hits.
But this time they were accompanied by a certain Mr. Williams. He came on first for a solo spot after the band had opened the show. And I have to say, unexpectedly actually, that his performance was something of a disappointment. He looked arrogant and fragile in his rendition of some of his solo hits. I did love Angels of course, but could have done without his crotch grabbing antics and references to his popularity with the women. He even invited members of the audience to be his super injunction for the night whilst his wife was away – nice touch Robbie. The overwhelming feeling I had for him was sadness at his desperation to be adored by the crowd. That is the difference between Robbie and the rest of the band – they love it – he really needs it. And possibly a tad more therapy besides.
But when the TT boys came back and they all sung together as a five piece it was fantastic. They are self deprecating, comfortable with each other, funny, and just all round great entertainers. They all looked in fabulous shape, especially the wonderful Jason Orange, clearly revelling in his stage, and undoubtedly staged, reputation for being a ladies’ man.
The special effects were thrilling, and the music fabulous. It was definitely worth all the aggravation to get hold of the tickets, and I would go and see them again anytime I wanted to be uplifted and thoroughly entertained, with or without Robbie. Gary, Howard, Mark, and of course the beautiful Mr Orange are bigger than that now.