So last night was the premiere of Take That’s new docu-film thingy at the BFI IMAX in Waterloo. My reasons for going were four-fold. First, it’s Take That related, nuff said. Second, there was always the possibility, however small, that the boys themselves may put in an appearance (though they didn’t ). Third, what Take That fan with time and means would pass up the opportunity to see the boys on a 20 metre tall screen, not me, that’s for certain. And finally, being out on Saturday night, I knew I was going to miss the TV premiere, so not only did this mean that I got to see the film early rather than late, I also got to see it in full, rather than the cut down version which will be shown on ITV.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous before the start, in part, because I was worried about what might come to light it what was, by all accounts, going to be a rather frank and honest film. I live in constant fear at the moment of anything that may add fuel to the Robbie-haters fire. However, I was also nervous because I was on my own (again) and I’d already spotted a few of the ‘super-fans’ (I’ve seen them before, many, many times. I’ve even met a few of them on occasion, but they’re not the most friendly bunch and succeed in making me feel rather insignificant on a regular basis. Partly because I’m not ‘fan’ enough, partly because I don’t have the time, money, knowledge or network to follow the boys quite as thoroughly as they seem to. And partly because I naturally feel insignificant anyway).
Anyways, I needn’t have worried. What followed was around 100 minutes of beauty (and plenty of nice close ups). They showed Take That’s progress as a five-piece from the initial reunion last year, right up until more recent events. It was fascinating, emotional, sweet and funny. It was polished, yet with a few raw edges. Of course, I loved watching Gary and I tend to forget how funny he can be, whether intentionally or not. I’d be more than happy to take him up on his offer of listening to him rave about whatever the little boxes were (I think they were pedals), not because I have the slightest interest, you understand, but just to listen to him talk. He could make a shopping list sound sexy. Anyways, moving on, I’ve always loved hearing Jason’s insight into things and there was plenty of it in the film. He’s always seemed to me to be a bit of a thinker and somehow deeper than the others. Though, having said that, Howard, to me, has always been deeply emotional. Not in a crying at everything way (like me ) but just that he feels things deeply. I’ve seen the quote about him considering suicide after Take That split back in ‘96 far too many times, but it makes my point, I think. As for Mark, they touched briefly on the rough year he’s had without over exposing it or making it in any way the focus. I thought it was very tastefully done. And then there’s Rob. As I was leaving, I overheard someone criticising the film for being too Robbie orientated, but having thought about it, I feel that it was inevitable as well as necessary. His return is an integral part of the Take That story from the past year and it would have seemed slightly ridiculous not to focus on it. That said, I don’t think he ‘took over’ or anything so overly dramatic. The film documented them getting to know each other again as a band, fitting Robbie into the new (noughties versus nineties) band dynamic and learning to work together again, this time as equals, to produce what I’m sure is going to be a fantastic record. It was also awesome to hear Robbie’s ‘I get embarrassingly excited when the five of us are in a room. It feels like coming home’ quote from his own lips. Personally, I was embarrassingly excited by the fact that the boys seemed to have exactly the same posh swivel chairs in the various studios that they worked in as the one I am currently sitting on in the office at work!
So, anyways, despite all that was revealed regarding Robbie (his fears, insecurities and the fact that he actually walked out at one point), it actually left me with the hope that this is truly going to be so spectacular, I can’t even begin to explain my excitement. I’d already heard 30 second clips of each track of ‘Progress’, but there was a little more revealed in the film. Needless to say, I cannot WAIT to hear the album in full. As for the tour, I’m still slightly concerned that Robbie will pull out, but I think that the other boys understand him enough now that they can and will support him. And with Ayda in the picture as well, lets just say that I think though he might consider it, and though I’m sure there will be many rows and tantrums, I still think he will walk out on stage at the Stadium of Light next year and prove to everybody that it was all worth it, that he deserves to be there and that above all, he is a damn good entertainer and a member of one of the best pop groups of all time.
In other news, I now have an extra draw to New York as the boys first got together to work as a five piece again in the Electric Lady Studio there. I would now dearly like to visit it (or at least look at the window and go ‘oooh’), however, life is still rather up in the air at the moment and I still feel unable to book The America Trip. Unsurprisingly I am not best pleased about putting it off longer and I was rather devastated to find yesterday that flights had gone up by over £100 since last week. Fortunately, it seems the airmiles flights have not been similarly affected and I can still get the same flights I initially chose for the same price as last week. However, I am now left with the dilemma of whether I should just go ahead, book and damn the consequences, or give it just a week or two more in the hope that my situation will be a little more settled and I can book in the knowledge that the trip won’t cause me too many problems. There is also the slight possibility, however, that in holding off, I may be able to go for a day or two longer and it is that, rather than my fears over inconvenience, that has put me off booking this very instant. After all a day or two more in New York is a show or two more on Broadway… And you never know who may have a gig. Anyway, it’s a rather enticing thought!
Anyhoo, as I already mentioned, I’m off to Manchester England, England (I’ve been listening to the Hair soundtrack again) this weekend for Panto’s On Strike, and I’ll get to spend some time with my grandma and cousins, who I rarely see, which will be nice. Still a little nervous about what the show will involve, and we’re in the second row so that could be a little scary if they go down the audience participation road, but hopefully it’ll just be a fun night out at the panto.
And I shall leave it at that for now.
So, until next time,