Posts Tagged ‘Gary Barlow’

Take That Come To Town

December 8, 2008

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…

LET IT SHIIIIIIIINE! Let it SHINE!

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.

The Chris Moyles Podcast

November 10, 2008

chris moyles

As Radio 1’s weekday morning DJ, Chris Moyles has a lot of airtime to fill.

From time to time, he slips up, taking leave of his senses or saying something offensive – his ‘racist moment’ with Halle Berry being a case in point. At other times he’s allowed his guests to veer into offensive territory and not apologised on their behalf – take Rio Ferdinand’s casual homophobia as your example. As it happens, I find it difficult to hold this stuff against him.

I only know about those moments of madness because I’ve read about them. When he makes a TV appearance, Moyles comes across as boorish and uncomfortable in front of the camera, but his employment is as a disc jockey, so in the interests of fair-play it’d only be right to download the podcast and judge it on its own merits.

And surprisingly, it does have its merits.

Having endured George Lamb’s ‘cast this year and having found it to be little more than a handful of berks shouting in a room, Moyles and his pals have elements to their show that make it superior. They have that essential asset they call continuity. They also have (and I can’t believe I’m typing this) some pretty good gags littered about their material. I know. I was shocked too – but I actually chuckled at a song they wrote in a Eurovision audition with Andrew Lloyd Webber in which they mocked the fabric of the competition with lines like ‘everyone’s afraid of Russia’ and jibes about the Balkans’ monopoly on the votes.

All good stuff, but the delivery hints that it’s all very much prepared, from Webber posing as though he’s not aware that it’s a set up to Moyles’ supposed reaction to his charge’s work. They’re slick when it comes to the banter. Too slick, in fact, for this to be the off-the-cuff stuff it claims it is.

There is, of course, a huge amount of dross. Where the likes of Adam & Joe fill their filler with childish but amusing blabber, Moyles and pals resort to talking utter shit. But at least it makes sense. Frequently sexist and rarely self-aware, the opening banter between two of the ladies in the studio about bra sizes led the big man to explain that their conversation had caused to him thinking about their two forms indulging in a lesbian embrace. He then added that the idea did nothing for him.

Not funny, not relevant, no point whatsoever.

Later, a discussion about Daniel ‘Dead Wife’ from the X Factor which started pretty well degenerated as ‘X Factor’ turned into ‘Breast Factor’. Presumably Moyles isn’t allowed to use the word ‘tits’ at that time of the morning, and the fact he’s forced to use the word ‘breasts’ makes it all the more sinister. He turns from the lad he wants to be into the sinister berk he actually is, waffling on about boobies when nobody else cares about his mother complex in the slightest.

The show is littered with your standard wacky (80s-style) sound effects and crrrazy incidental music, all of which presumably wake up your average listener as they struggle over breakfast with a hangover, but all of which serve to make the banter barely audible at best and migraine-inducing at worst.

The Smashie and Nicie comparisons don’t stop with the irritating external noises. There are constant references to great mates and in the 25 minutes I listened to, Cheryl Cole, another one from Girls Aloud, Fearne Cotton and Gary Barlow were all mentioned as Moyles prematurely trailed his participation in a Comic Relief stunt a year in advance. And to make matters worse, he then started slobbering over the thought of Fearne C with all the grace of a sex offender. Skin-crawling stuff.

Despite the drivel he comes out with, and even though I lasted just short of half an hour, I can see why Moyles has the job. He does what he does and is what he is. His show may be a pile of shit, but it’s very slick shit. You may be glad you’re not in the studio with him, but everyone seems to be having a fun time. Compare this to Lamb’s show where the forced laughter actually sounds like it’s causing tonsilitis and the jokes are witless, repeated catchphrases.

Time to get back to ignoring Moyles. Let the man do what he does best – entertaining idiots. He might eventually go away.

NewsGush – Is this news?

November 10, 2008

robbie williams gary barlow

Well?

Is this news?

On a slow news day, and when I’m in the middle of an article it has to be. Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams have been civil to one another. Which is great news if you’re a female or homosexual human being who was born in the 80s and who appreciates the music of Take That. The rest of us can just shrug.

They highlighted this cosy reunion in the coverage of the Arsenal vs Manchester United match on Sky Sports on Saturday morning, but I was too busy bricking it to actually notice it properly. Presumably they both wanted United to win.

Thankfully, United lost.

Ha.