Take That Come To Town


The Take That documentary they showed a Christmas or two ago was a successful little slice of television. It managed to turn around the flailing careers of all ex-Take That stars whose surnames weren’t Williams whilst simltaneously banging the final nail into Robbie’s career-coffin.

Fundamentally, the doc demonstrated, these four blokes were always nice, professional chaps. The public were finally persuaded that Robbie’s distortions of the truth were only his version of events and bought into the TT reunion package.

Robbie might also have been a nice bloke, once-upon-a-time, but he lost it in a stupendously big way. His neurosis made him leave the band and embark on a solo career curve which he now languishes at the bottom of, in a pile of money but without the critical acclaim he needs to keep his egocentric personality turning out his trademark cheeky-chappie gurns.

So the public were persuaded to finally wave ta-ta to Robbie and, through endless four-nice-bloke branding, they accepted Take That back into their ears. Barlow wasted no time. He immediately set about writing those songs he used to create. The ones where you hear them and think:

‘Hang on, I know this! Isn’t this that George Michael song? Or is it Elton John? That bit sounds like Abba playing the Beatles.’

And then the hook is in your head like a parasitic worm. And it won’t leave. And it’s laying eggs which’ll hatch when you least expect it. You’ll be waiting for a lift (or walking up some stairs, for those in the north) and all of a sudden…


And then, instantaneously, the lads are a visual memory – all dressed up in M&S urchin chic, and you wish death on them, slow lingering death, whether they’re nice blokes or not.

So Take That Came To Town last night, and they bought half of Cirque De Soleil with ’em. They also bought clowns, dancing girls and their middle-aged fans who screamed violently at every word they uttered.

I lasted 25 minutes and here’s what happened in that time:

  • Gary sang an opener in which he promised that this could be the greatest night of our lives. I’ll leave you to wrestle with the use of the word ‘could’.
  • Mark sang the aforementioned Shine, a serious virus of a song, whilst ladies dangled from wires. A huge jackinthebox also sprang out of nowhere.
  • They did that ‘Rule The World’ song and I noted that, despite Howard having the ‘we can rule the wooooorld’ line, his voice was so low in the mix it sounded like autotuned interference.
  • Jason, looking for all the world like an awkward gay teenager roped into organising an overpriced kid’s party, led a chatty bit where all involved mocked Barlow. They’re allowed to now, it seems.
  • They all said they were ‘enjoying getting to know Robbie again’ – which is good, as without him the next stage of the comeback will be redundant. The Take That Reunion Mark2 is reliant on Robbie’s desperation, after all.

And then I switched over.

Temporarily swept up by the glitz and those nagging, incessant tunes, my right mind suddenly dragged me back to sensibility and I returned to the land of the living just about intact.

It’s going to take weeks to shift those bloody songs from my brain.

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52 Responses to “Take That Come To Town”

  1. Nick T Says:

    A beautifuly written piece SW. I felt like I was in the room watching it with you. “Let it Shine ” eh?

    All I saw at the weekend was the second half of the Comedy Awards, a fantastic Jeeves and Woooooster avec Fry et Laurie and the last 15 mins of Antiques Roadshow featuring a painting worth £200,00. Crazy times…..

  2. Swineshead Says:

    Comedy Awards was a bloody shanbles!

  3. Swineshead Says:

    Yes – ‘shanbles’

  4. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I missed it. Bugger.

    As for Take That, your description of ‘Let It Shine’ is spot on.

  5. Nick T Says:

    What is it about the BBC that means that they do award ceremonies so well.
    When ITV do it it always ends up being a dog’s dinner.
    Who was that twot shouting out all the time?
    Why didn’t Buzzcock or Peepshow win?
    Did I miss The Inbetweeners getting a mention?
    Gervais was tres amusment n’es pas?

    I’m finding this whole French thing baffling….

    No Twatter for you today?

  6. Swineshead Says:

    Kevin Bishop was shouting. Found that quite funny….

    No Twitter – I’ve got a lot to get on with Nick…!

    ELM – many thanks you scotchitch bastard.

  7. Nick T Says:

    As the great Take That once said “It Only Takes a Minute”

  8. extremelisteningmode Says:

    What can i say, I’m in a good mood.

    I’m not actually. i’m cold and it’s Monday. Still, i’ve got a four day work week this week.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    That’s falling in love though, which actually takes a fair bit of money, coercion and persuasion.

  10. ugeine Says:

    I seriously don’t think I can name a single take that song, or even member apart from the afore mentioned berk. Still, it was informative towards me, so it’s a good thing that you haven’t written it for other obsessive take that fans SH.

  11. Nick T Says:

    Now you have time to rip my argument to shreds…..

    Could I ask for a few creative ideas here?


  12. Who Says:

    I saw a bit of the Comedy Awards and would love to know who was shouting WANKER! WANKER! throughout Ricky Gervais’s acceptance VT. I was more interested in that than the carefully prepared speech/funny sketch, alongside a string vest-wearing George Michael in bed.

    1) realises that’s what the rascal intended
    2) then realises that it was probably a recording of Gervais himself, calling himself a wanker to send himself up – ho ho!
    3) disappears up her own bottom…

  13. Nick T Says:

    Kevin Bishop

  14. Who Says:

    Was that him? I was right – a rascal.

    Whaddya mean Grange Hill isn’t real – BASTARDS!

  15. Swineshead Says:

    I like Bishop.

    In fact, I like Bishops generally. Harold ‘Hazza’ Bishop, Archbishop Desmond Tutu… the list isn’t endless.

  16. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Bishop Brennan would top my Bishop list. They did kick him up the arse.

  17. Who Says:

    I’ll raise you Emily Bishop and the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells.

    You’re right, not a bad egg amongst the lot of them. Hats off, sir.

  18. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Wasn’t Ernest Bishop a bit of a lad? He got shot. I think.

  19. daveselectricblanket Says:

    Thingy Moon from Mighty Boosh told me to fuck off last night. Strange thing is, I’m proud that I can say ‘Thingy Moon from Mighty Boosh told me to fuck off last night.’. Although I’m sure there are many that share the honour with me. He’s a cunt.

  20. piqued Says:

    Good Afternoon

    I’m working very hard over here.

    I saw the comedy awards and couldn’t help thinking that Angus Deyton hasn’t aged in 20 years. In fact this one thought pervaded my brain throughout the entire duration of the shambles to such an extent I don’t recall anything about the show whatsoever. Though I did realise after that I’d done a wet in my trousers at some point.

  21. piqued Says:

    DEB, details please. What did you do to provoke such wrath?

  22. ugeine Says:

    Howard Moon is a saint and a visionary. He helped to inspire the character of Brian from Spaced.

    Dave, did you heckle him?

  23. DEBs Says:

    Well, Piqued, since you ask, I was enjoying a Hamlet miniature outside a bar following a Wildhearts gig. I look up, blind drunk, and see Thingy Moon and the Fat American Bloke running around like children. A fan of Nathan Barley more than Boosh (although I do own the DVDs), I went up to him and said ‘I’m a big fan can I simply shake your hand’. He turned to me saying ‘fuck off’ because he was blind drunk as well, before leaping into a black cab with Fat American Bloke. I spent the rest of my cigar telling everyone how he was a rude bugger – not only does he palm his fans off with recycled material, he tells random idiots like me to fuck off. I cried.

  24. piqued Says:

    I’m extremely unhappy to hear that.

    The Wildhearts!!

  25. piqued Says:

    U, Spaced predates Boosh by about 5 years

  26. extremelisteningmode Says:

    There was no need for him to do that.

    But then, if pissed up weirdoes came and annoyed me when I was waiting on a taxi, I might react differently!

  27. Edna Welthorpe Says:

    My favourite (dead) bishop is Bill Westwood, late Bish of Peterborough, and Tim’s dad.


  28. DEBs Says:

    If I’d stuck an old Polo Holes packet to my eyeball (where students get them from I’ll never know, they stopped making them ten years ago) and started talking like a cockney he might have been nicer to me. Perhaps I should have offered him an imagination pie whilst exposing a poor quality HMV purchased Boosh T-Shirt (or my breasts).

    And if I wasn’t depressed enough by his rejection, I went home and watch Joan of Arc completely rat-arsed. I almost hung myself.

  29. piqued Says:

    My favourite Bishop is this ‘un

  30. indy Says:

    i met moon/barratt from mighty boosh in shoreditch two years ago. i was heading home from the pub in a miserable state and ended up just standing, staring mouth and eyes wide open. he gave me the same face. we stood looking at each other for what must be a minute and then we laughed and walked away.

    however. mighty boosh three was sooo rubbish i cried my way through the six episodes. i wonder if it is ok to give my dvd away to my cousin who hasn’t seen it yet as a christmas gift?

  31. ugeine Says:

    Latest season was heartbreaking.

    Piqued: I know, cheers. Pegg, Stevenson and Wright worked on Asylum with Julian Barratt and some other names. Barratt’s artist character was liked by Pegg, Stevenson and Wright so much they roped in Brian to play a kind of homage to him. I think they might have actually tried to get barratt in first.

  32. piqued Says:

    U, the part of Brian was written for Julian Barrett but he turned it down so Mark Heap played it. He didn’t ‘inspire’ the character, he was the character.

  33. Mr H Says:

    What I want to know is, what’s going on under the midgets hat. You know, the one that used to be the cute one with the squeaky voice. Is he Mark?

    Anyway, what’s going on there. He’s never seen without a trilby these days. So is it male pattern baldness or (and this is my guess), an evil twin growing out of his head who will one day subsume its host and form it’s very own Evil Twin Take That, which Robbie will be delighted to join.

  34. piqued Says:

    I think there should be an extra member of Take That called Farty, then they could be called Take That and Farty.

  35. ugeine Says:

    Piqued: Yeah, that’s the fellow.

  36. Mr H Says:

    Mr Farty lives here;


    Nip over and ask him. I’m losing his Xmas competition, so don’t care anymore. eejits.

  37. Who Says:

    I actually liked 1 or 2 (no more, sadly) eps of 3. I know from bitter experience that it’s not that clever to blurt this information out loud to Series 1 and 2 ‘vets’.

    *runs for cover*

  38. piqued Says:

    U, thank u.

    Mr H, are you plugging your blog on here?

  39. Swineshead Says:

    He’s allowed to plug his blog on here. It’s link sharing.

    As for Julian Barrett, I met him once (albeit before he’d been on TV with Boosh) and he was a total gent. It must just be you, Dave…

  40. ugeine Says:

    Did you pretend to be a girl again? That doesn’t work as well off the internet.

  41. Nick T Says:

    SW have you ever thought of a WWM podcast?

  42. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I’m so tall, I’m so tall
    You raise me up and then you let me fall.

  43. ugeine Says:


  44. Nick T Says:

    Thanks U

  45. ugeine Says:

    Listen to SH’s voice. It’s like taking a bath in velvet.

  46. Mr H Says:

    How dare you!

    I am most certainly not Mr Farty. If I was I would be winning my own bloody competition.


  47. piqued Says:

    Yeah, I reckon you’re Mr. Farty. Definitely


  48. Nick T Says:


  49. ugeine Says:

    Ramos at Madrid.

    What the fack?

  50. extremelisteningmode Says:

    I’ve just bought most of the wife’s Christmas in one fell swoop. i am a genius.

  51. Nick T Says:

    What did you get her?

    *scans figleaves*

  52. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Can’t say, alas, as she is on here a fair bit!

    As for Ramos…bizarre! Though Schuster has been awful all season.

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