I was 14 when I went to my first gig. I would love to say I went to a Blur, or an another 90’s indie band such as Terrorvision. It wasn’t. It was the mighty Take That on their Never Forget tour at Earl’s Court. By this point, Robbie had left and I had resigned myself to never see the band a five-piece. Ever.
Fast-forward 15 years later, and I find myself near the front of Wembley and one of the 85, 000 people eagerly awaiting the arrival of Take That plus Robbie Williams. I was 14 again.
You know you’re in for a good time when the concert your going to is the biggest-ever live tour, with 1.76 million people buying tickets to see them, and 1.34 million of those sold in just 24 hours after going on sale. On top to that, the Pet Shops Boys were the supporting act.
Starting off with Rule the World, the show was split in definite sections – their latest hits, the Robbie show, their latest album, Progress and their old stuff.
Ok – so it was a bit of ego stroking for the Robster, but actually I didn’t mind. He is and always will be an entertainer, and he didn’t fail to perform. And yes, he did get a bit emotional. Was it an act? Who knows? Although I did like his rap about super injunctions.
Their Progress section was very industrial, lots of tribal drumming with the electronic robot coming to life. Didn’t I say there was a massive electronic robot, which moved down the runway to stage two with the band singing Never Forget? Costing £1.5 million, it was the centre piece of the set, and quite scary, especially when it’s eyes lit up. They had dancers on ropes running across the up and down the stage (Pet Shop Boys inspired), and wall of water for The Flood. But my favourite bit – other than hearing Rule the World live – was seeing the band perform their old stuff. Hearing A Million Love Songs, Everything Changes and Never Forget took me back to my younger days of having the biggest crush on Gary, school, and figuring out who I was.
On a separate, but not totally unrelated topic – I loved the fact the newspapers reported a spike at Manchester’s A&E department due to boozed-up middle-aged women not handling their alcohol very well. The pictures are even funnier. Imagine opening the papers and seeing your Mum flashing her breasts at you. Decorum ladies, decorum.
“We used to have the record for the number of girls fainting,’ 37-year-old Robbie Williams told the crowd at their concert in Cardiff. Now we have the record for the most middle-aged boozed-up women. I, Robbie Williams, am proud of you.”
And before you ask – no I wasn’t drinking, and I kept myself fully clothed at all times.