Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Gary and Robbie as a duo don’t relight my fire

Like many I was up earlier than usual last Thursday, avidly listening to Radio 1’s Chris Moyles’ show from 7.30am just to get my first listen of the eagerly awaited single from Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams, Shame.

I should probably admit straight away that I am a mahoosive Take That fan...always have been and always will be. And whilst there have been a number of other love affairs throughout my humble 30-something years – the likes of 911, Ultimate Kaos, PJ & Duncan, 3T, New Kids On The Block, Blue, Westlife, Backstreet Boys, and more recently JLS to name but a few – Take That has always been THE favourite, dominating my bedroom walls as a teenager and still to-this-day occupying box upon box in my parents loft, packed with all sorts of paraphernalia from t-shirts, photos, pencil cases, perfume and even sandwich boxes(!!).

The 13th of February 1996 was the first time my heart was officially broken, with my sister and I publicly sobbing in our school playground upon hearing the news that our beloved TT were splitting up. But, less than a decade later and with spine-tingling excitement my faith in boy bands was restored as they announced their comeback. There was lots of talk back then about whether Robbie should have joined them, but I was secretly pleased that the four had decided to come back alone... in my eyes he was still a traitor and they were going to be so much better without him.

And so much better they were! Better dressed with new make-your-knees-go-weak chiselled good looks and tracks that put them straight back at number one. Robbie’s career on the other hand was on a totally different track with story-after-story of his strange Scientology beliefs and obsession with extra-terrestrials. So it was with doubt that I watched Gary and Robbie attempt to lay to rest their demons and put their feud behind them.

This new friendship all seems a bit too convenient for me. Robbie’s ego thought he was better than the other four, that without him the boys would crash and burn, but in fact the new era of TT is better than ever.

Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age but with his own career crashing down around him surely the pound signs flashing in front of his eyes were too tempting when he saw how successful the guys were doing?! In fact I’m surprised it took him this long to try and work his way back in.

Shame is due for release in a few weeks time, but it’s the video that has really captured the media’s attention, with the duo starring in a Brokeback Mountain-style scene that shows their new-found admiration for each other, prompting The Sun to label it ‘tongue-in-cheek as they poke fun at their rekindled "bromance"’.

But have you heard the new song? My sister and I couldn’t wait to talk about it over lunch at the weekend and we were both agreed...it is a shame! It’s a shame that this song only features Gary and Robbie, it’s a shame that we have to wait until November to learn whether I’ll eat my words and wish that all five of them had actually been reunited years ago.

But, without doubt, the biggest shame of all is the song. Don’t get me wrong I like it – anything Take That related will always be a hit with me – but, well, I was expecting more. It’s just too ‘safe’. The Daily Mail claims Radio 1’s listeners thought the track had a very similar guitar chord sequence to the Beatles’ song Blackbird. But I’d have thought the pair would relight their friendship with something a bit more upbeat, proving that without doubt Take That still rule the world.


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