Take That

In Men, Uncategorized on July 8, 2011 at 6:06 pm

For the first time in my entire life I screamed like a Beatles fan.

I’ve yelled and cheered and hollered and hooted and even gobbed in my long and varied gig-going career, but never before have I screamed. The full aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah shaking your head making Munch faces tearing your hair thing.

That’s what Take That do to me. I can’t help it. I love them. They make my ageing hormones go pop.

So when the one minute count down to their appearance on stage at Wembley Stadium on Monday night (July 4th)  reached zero and there they suddenly were, live on stage, sharing air with me, even several hundred metres away, I screamed. We all did. Eightyfour thousand nine hundred and ninety eight women and about two men. This fabulously amateur bit of video above, from the Sunderland concert really catches the atmosphere (and watching it just now gave me goose bumps…)

And that was just the come back four. The concert was brilliantly divided into three acts. Starting with the material from when Guy, Mark, Howard and….. JASON AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH re-formed back in 2008. All the great tracks like Hold On (swoon…) and Patience.

I screamed, I sang, I danced, I hugged my friend Saska and the total stranger on the other side.

Then they went off (after a spectacularly dopy sequence with dancers dressed as fairy tale characters) and some very familiar opening chords boomed out. There he was ROBBIE!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH all over again. Making what must be one of the greatest live entrances of all time. More amateur video follows…

Let me entertain you, he sang, and boy, he did. He hammed it up like the vaudeville star he is. The only person who comes near him for on stage energy is Mr Pop. Robbie looks like he could explode with it at any moment. Leaping around like a fool and singing like a master. God, he’s got a good voice.

I could remember Madonna, the last time I went to that site, back in the 80s to the old stadium, trying to skip about and sing at the same time and so not pulling it off. Get into the, puff, groove, puff, wheeze…

Robbie can sing while he’s doing a cartwheel and he’s nearly forty. The man is a force of nature. I love his music, I adore his cheekiness and I love that we grew up a few miles from each other, it makes me feel like I own a piece of him.

Fancy some pobs, Rob? (sorry you’d have to be a Stookie to get that…)

I also think his lyrics are amazing. If you don’t believe me, listen to Me and My Monkey. A work of brilliance. This one he’s singing below’s not bad either, Come Undone. ‘I’ve contemplated thinking about thinking, it’s overrated, just get another drink in…’

But even solo Robbie pales next to the collective marvel that is the five boys of Take That together. It’s some kind of magical alchemical formula. The whole is so very much greater than the sum of the parts, but when they’re together, singing their brilliant pop songs, old and new, they have an effect on women like no one else.

Nearly two million women (really, there were hardly any men there, it was hilarious) are going to see them on this tour. Not even the Beatles managed that.

I’ve tried to analyse what it is and I can’t nail it. For me it’s a no brainer. I have a fetish for cheeky boys from northern England, where I grew up, because they remind me of the first boys I kissed. Particularly the gorgeous Jason Orange, with his wonderful bony face. No southerners look like that. It’s a particular bone structure and it sends me.

He’s also a wonderful dancer, our Jason, in the great twinkle toes Northern Soul tradition and the hits that first made me like them – Everything Changes But You was the first one I loved – are based on the particular heavy beat and quick tempo of that music. It makes you want to spin on one foot like Jason can. Sigh…

So that’s why I love them, but I don’t entirely understand the mass fetish. I’d love to know your thoughts on it.

And what is particularly interesting to me about Take That AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH now is that they are so much more attractive as a man band, with their lived-in looking faces, than they were as freshly minted hairless boys.

Aren’t men lucky about that?

  1. How fun to read this and to recall screaming at rock concerts. I didn’t see the Beatles at the height of their screaming phase. But, I do recall screaming my head off and dancing in my seat when Mick Jagger came on stage. Never forget that night!
    How grand you got to see this and have so much fun. Lots of women, eh? I liked watching the videos, too. Good sounds and they ARE cute!

  2. God Maggie – what a great piece this is. Twinkle toes Northern Soul tradition…perfect. I really need to go and see Take That now next time they’re down under. They should hire you for PR (A&R? Whatever!), they really should!

  3. what a fantastic post! I can hear your excitement! I remember the first time I ever saw them , i was in my bedroom watching video hits or some such and they came onto the screen and I just ran to the phone and rang my friend screaming channel 10 NOW! And we both just lusted after them! hilarious to look back on.

    I agree with you they have aged so well- they look even better now if that is possible. Robbie has always been my guilty pleasure. I can’t help it. he is everything I like. naughty but cute enough that he can get away with it.

    I get sentimental seeing them as they remind me of the boys I met when I was living in London who were Northerners. That accent makes me go week at the knees… and the constant asking “you ‘lright?” which took me ages to get use too…lovely memories for a Saturday morning, thanks Maggie.

    • So glad it’s not just me. They did nothing for me when they were young. Loved the music, but not the boys. Once they grew into men it became an entirely different issue, but had I been a teenager when they first appeared I would have been with you, I think x

  4. Was never into Take That, but Mr Williams on the other hand – YUM!! He’s still got it hasn’t he.. Think I will love him forever!

  5. Ah Maggie – now I can’t join you in the adoration for TT (wrong gender you see) – however, are sure about this?:

    “And what is particularly interesting to me about Take That AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH now is that they are so much more attractive as a man band, with their lived-in looking faces, than they were as freshly minted hairless boys. Aren’t men lucky about that?”

    Men aren’t lucky at all. Hasn’t it got more to do with you being a bit older too? Ask your Peggy whether she likes Justin B or Robbie W ? – I think I know who will win.

    • She HATES Justin Bieber – and she LOVES Robbie Williams.. She’s only 9 but can appreciate good music. She was furious I didn’t take her with me to the concert. By 14 this may change. x

  6. I’m always surprised by how much I adore Robbie Williams. And I can’t believe that my feelings haven’t changed over the years. Now, as a mother of two toddlers, I’m almost embarrassed to admit to it, as he’s exactly the type of boy I don’t want my daughters to bring home. I think the reason why I adore him and also the reason why I don’t want his type dating my daughters is this: he’s a black sheep.

    • He’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I wouldn’t even want to have coffee with him. I’m sure he’d be a nightamre, but on stage, I adore him. Like the song says – at a distance… x

  7. I’ve always loved Mark and still do. Unfortunately though, I’ve missed this second round of TT mania as they’re not so big here in Oz anymore. I need to catch up with their “newer” stuff and bring back some good memories. I was one of a crazy bunch of girls that followed them around here back in something like 1995! I was thrilled to meet Mark and get a photo with him and then go to their after-party in Adelaide at the Hyatt. Good times.

  8. Reading that just makes me sob they aren’t coming to Australia…

  9. I really didn’t get the boy band thing at all (was always into harder rock), but as I’ve aged I too love Robbie. It is the cheekiness and the smile that says something dirty is going on in his mind that is more bad boy rocker than nice boy, I think. Bought a trashy mag just to laugh at his wedding photos and one in particular in bed with his best male friend by his side…hhhmmmm
    Anyway, as for them looking better as older men, I couldn’t agree more: amazing what a bit of facial hair and more messed up styling can do…and I know now that takes just as much effort as a more polished look.

    • I agree on all points. Didn’t like them as a boy band. I was too old when they came out. Started to love the music later when I heard it without watching their dopey videos, then they reformed as MEN and I was an instant fan. But I liked Robbie as a solo act, before them as a band, so I’ve come to them backwards and darling ROBBIE was the conduit… How great is Me and My Monkey? I think the lyrics are up there with the greats and he doesn’t get hte credit. ‘Hi, I’m Sunshine, and these are my girlzzzz….’ brilliant acting too. He should be in films.

  10. I was in the UK when they broke up. We had been out and walked into the hostel common room room where we were staying to find a whole host of girls crying. We had assumed someone had died or that there had been some terrible terrorist attack as the TV was on. When one of them finally blubbed out what had happened I rather unsympathetically laughed, it seemed such an over reaction.

    But you know what, I would totally scream the house down for Robbie Williams. They really are great, the boy bands that have followed have a lot to live up to. And I totally agree, they are just getting more attractive. I guess I really do prefer a face that has been lived in.

  11. Robbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Saw him in Sydney a few years ago with my younger (female) cousin and we both went nuts. I had just had my first child and the hormones were raging. Bawled I did. I remember doing the same thing at a U2 concert. It was the Zooropa tour – they played at the Sydney Football Stadium, I remember it was a gorgeous evening, sun just setting. The sky was pink and as I walked in and saw the MASSIVE stage I was overcome – then out came Bono and the tears flowed. I never understood all the crying girls on the Beatles tour footage until that moment. Just feeling so overcome with emotion that all you can do is cry.

  12. I visited Essendon Airport (in Melbourne) for the first time recently, yes where the Beatles arrived back in 1964 (I wasn’t even a twinkle in my Dad’s eye then!), walking into the airport terminal is like stepping back in time, easy to imagine the hysteria!

    Yup, I’m with you on Northern lads, one of my exes is from Birmingham & the other from Manchester, love the accents and that “jack the lad” attitude!

  13. My love for TT has remained as strong as it was all those years ago and yes I am a silly 54year old moo who stood at Wembley singing, crying, screaming and just generally having the best time of my life!!! Your piece exactly summed up their wonderfulness and I shall carry a very special place in my heart for them for the rest of my days.

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