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Take That (1991-1996) [7]
Информация от Take That c основания группы в 1991 до ее распада в 1996 году
Jason Orange [3]
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Take That (с 2006) [28]
Информация о группе Take That после их воссоединения в 2006 году
Robbie Williams [23]
Все о Робби Уильямсе
Gary Barlow [8]
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Mark Owen [3]
Все о Марке Оуэне
Howard Donald [3]
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Главная » Статьи » Take That (с 2006)

More Magic For Take That?
IT is 15 minutes to show time, and I am being led through the concrete bowels of the M.E.N. Arena, past scurrying dancers and bustling road crew members. A dressing room door swings open to reveal all four members of Take That, some - oo-er, missus - still trouserless.

Under the usual conventions of the showbiz interview, access like this is rare indeed. The great and good generally insist on being fully dressed before greeting the press. Most artistes also crave peace and quiet before taking the stage.

But Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald are cool as cucumbers, seemingly happy to chat even minutes before they go before 15,000 screaming fans.

They are also chummily ensconsed in a shared dressing room. Rock and roll history is full of examples of bands bound together by economic necessity, touring in separate limos, separate hotels, separate dressing rooms, exchanging barely a single, resentful word. Take That still, plainly, enjoy being around each other. But it's not just a chat I have come for. My mission is to reproduce a snapshot taken in the same concrete bowels of the arena where I met Take That 12 years ago.

Then, they had just been reduced to four by Robbie Williams' departure, and were about to play 10 dates at the then Nynex Arena, plus 10 in London. It was, I remind Gary, the biggest movement of people around Britain since the Second World War.

"Tssk. Who thinks of all these things?" he marvels at my trainspotterly observation.

Erm, people like me, I reply.

Take That-mania

I had reported Take That's doings right back to the first glimmerings of Take That-mania in 1991, when fans at one of their appearances at a Stockport nightclub went so barmy that five had to be treated for crush injuries.

I wrote about them having to disguise themselves as police officers to escape a mini-riot on Manchester's Market Street when 3,000 fans mobbed an autograph-signing session. I reported on the succession of number one hits, the bigger and bigger tours, the stalker-like dedication of the fans. I went with a world-wide press posse to Munich, where Take That - with a by-then plainly disaffected Robbie - launched their second album, Nobody Else, in an opera house.

I saw that last, exultant tour in Manchester in August, 1995, and declared it a triumph of pop theatre.

And I was there six months later at the Hilton International Hotel, near Manchester Airport, when - with suicide hotlines at the ready to console grieving fans - Take That called it a day. Seventeen TV crews and a hundred other journalists were also there to cover it... more like the abdication of a monarch than a pop group splitting up.

On that day, February 13 1996, Gary said: "My dream is that after five to 10 years, we could come back and do it all again."

Don't be daft, we all muttered. With boy bands, once it's over, it's over. How wrong we were.

All over again

So, what is it like being Take That all over again?

"It's much better this time round. I don't know why. Maybe a state of mind," says Gary.

"Better drugs!" chimes Mark, unconvincingly.

Gary adds: "We always say the main bit of our shows is the crowd, and they just seem to come ready for action, equipped with the best voices. I don't think there's been one night on the whole tour where we could say that it was not a good night."

"They are almost having their own show," adds Jason. "I look out sometimes and it's not that we're incidental to it, but it is almost like they've come for a great time, whatever happens.

"It may be something about reminiscing about younger years - as we are, to some extent. Maybe it is the nostalgia factor, but they are out for a brilliant time."

Ah, yes, the `N' word. This was, after all, a year in which everyone from the Sex Pistols to the Spice Girls hit the reunion trail and the hottest ticket bar none was Led Zeppelin at London's O2 Arena.

Certainly, nostalgia is thick in the air as women old enough to know better don the pink stetson and the glowstick.

New songs

But there's more to it than that. The new songs like Shine, Patience and Rule The World are as good, if not better, than Take That's old hits. It's a reminder that they had barely reached their creative peak when they quit first time round.

"For us, this has been a massive shock," says Gary of the way the reunion has been greeted these past two years.

"It seems to me that we are just starting on our creative journey here.

"We've made an album everyone seems to have loved, and who knows what we can achieve if we carry on writing and making more records. This was really our first album where we have collaborated properly together."

Asked whether another album is in the offing, Gary says: "I think we'd like to."

Mark admits the first Take That reunion tour 18 months ago was purely about nostalgia, but he adds: "A lot of the thought that went into putting together this show was how we can go forward as a band.

"We are using different elements now to make the show a bigger and grander scale, and it's maybe more theatrical than some of the things we have done in the past."

Setting records

Take That are now setting some new records. Their 11 nights at the M.E.N. Arena brings their total there, since 1995, to 27 shows for 400,000 people.

That's a bigger tally than any other band in the history of an arena which is the largest in Europe and the busiest for ticket sales in the world.

But, having sung and danced their way across Europe to get here, there have been taxing times, not least the eight shows Howard missed after suffering a partially-collapsed lung during a daring dance move on stage in Milan.

"All of us have struggled at certain times, and you ask yourself why am I doing this? I'm 37, 38, 39, whatever," says Jason.

And here is the intriguing thing about Take That's second coming.

In April next year, Howard will turn 40 and Take That will be on the verge of becoming the first functioning middle-aged boy band.

Wearing well

Close up, they are wearing well. Howard and Jason are both craggily handsome.

Mark is still boyishly winsome. Gary has worn the ravages of time best of all, despite the catty comments. His jawline and cheekbones seem chiselled beneath designer stubble.

In those 10 years between Take That's two incarnations, Gary launched a solo career which stalled, but became a hugely successful songwriter and producer; Mark had modest acclaim as a solo artist and won the reality show Celebrity Big Brother in 2002, Howard became a DJ and Jason did some acting, studying and travelling.

All of which was eclipsed by the immense success of Robbie, who sold more albums in Britain than any other British solo artist, but did it with songs which told us how unhappy he was, and performances which sneered at his past in Take That.

Only last week, Robbie paid undisclosed damages and issued an apology to Take That's former manager Nigel Martin-Smith for remarks made about him in a song.

Yet the speculation goes on that Robbie could step back on stage with Take That. Even Robbie's mum says it will happen one day.

Mark Owen, the closest of the band to Robbie, quotes to me Ladbroke's 5-1 latest odds that Robbie will rejoin Take That by the end of the year

"Who knows? We know as much as you," says Gary wearily on the Robbie question.

"Obviously, one of our dreams is that one day we all get together on stage again."

Источник: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/

Категория: Take That (с 2006) | Добавил: Lissena (18.12.2007)
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