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24 September 2014
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Reviews

Gary Barlow and Mark Owen (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)
Gary and Mark (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)

Take That – The Ultimate Tour (Polydor)

Chris Long
You’d have to be mad not to agree that Take That’s comeback is the biggest thing to hit Manchester in recent years and thankfully, it’s been captured for posterity.

And oh, how it’s been captured. The Ultimate Tour comes as both DVD and a live CD and both show exactly why Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald have proved that boy bands really can make good music.

Howard Donald (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)
Howard Donald (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)

Filmed at the City of Manchester Stadium, the concert is a flawless performance, but then, we already knew that. DVDs are always about the extras and this has great extras, not least of which is the chance to see the full show from all angles, including what was going on under the stage and during the costume changes.

Elsewhere, there’s the story of how they went from the Take That For The Record documentary to the comeback concerts – it turns out the initial decision involved a lot of booze, that three of them had to persuade Jason to give up his newly cherished anonymity, that they went to see Vegas shows to get ideas for their concerts and that Gary fell asleep in Celine Dion!

Then there’s a stage tour from Mark, which has revelations such as the fact that the stage was designed to mimic the arch at the new Wembley or that the heat of pyrotechnics has made him worry that his PVC trousers had melted to his legs. But the beauty of the whole Take That comeback has been the humility of the four and that comes across in spades on the DVD.

Jason Orange (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)
Jason Orange (pic: Shirlaine Forrest)

Be it Jason saying that he felt physically sick after they announced the concerts, Howard’s realisation that all the fans are here for them, Mark’s honest belief that they "just wanted to make it a great night out" or Gary’s dry-witted finale to the documentary – "back to panto" – everything has the air of four lads simply stunned that the world still loves them.

And in reality, anyone who doesn’t feel that sinking sad feeling every time they see the Never Forget set-closer does not have an emotional bone in their body. Buy this and stick it next to your Who Put The M In Manchester? DVD. Like it or lump it, Take That are as important to our city’s musical history as Morrissey.

last updated: 27/11/06
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