Take That kicked off their Wembley Stadium concerts with a stunning show last night (30.06.11).
The group – made up of Gary Barlow, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – are playing a record-breaking eight gigs at the prestigious London venue as part of their ‘Progress Live’ tour, their first as a five-piece since Robbie quit in 1995.
The show opened with Gary, Mark, Jason and Howard playing the hit songs from their two albums as a four-piece, ‘Beautiful World’ and ‘The Circus’, which included ‘Greatest Day’, ‘Rule The World’, ‘Patience’ and ‘Shine’ as well as leading the crowd in a rendition of the Great British national anthem ‘God Save The Queen’.
As they went off stage, Robbie appeared and treated the screaming crowds to songs from his solo career, starting with ‘Let Me Entertain You’ and finishing with his most famous song, ‘Angels’, which left him overcome with emotion.
The group then all appeared on stage together as they sang hit single ‘The Flood’ and other songs from their ‘Progress’ album, before thrilling the audience with some of their biggest ever hits from their early days, including ‘Back For Good’, ‘Pray’, ‘Relight My Fire’ and ‘Never Forget’.
Support for the evening came from the English electronic dance music duo, Pet Shop Boys.
Take That have been entertaining themselves on tour by playing bingo.
Gary Barlow ‘ who is joined in the British group by Mark Owen, Jason Orange, Robbie Williams and Howard Donald ‘ has been hosting “Barlow’s Bingo” nights for the band, using the kit he bought when he was a professional caller of the game before shooting to fame in the 90s.
He said: “I used to be a bingo caller when I was first starting out.
“I used to love reading out the numbers. We have bingo nights backstage on the Take That tour to help everyone relax. We call it Barlow’s Bingo.”
Meanwhile, Robbie Williams ‘ who has previously spoken of his desire to start a family with wife Ayda Field – has been showering lavish gifts upon his bandmate’s kids, including giving Gary’s 10-year-old son Daniel a pair of soccer star David Beckham’s old boots.
Gary said: “My son Daniel loves Rob because he gives him footballs and he even gave him a pair of David Beckham’s old boots.
“He thinks the best thing that’s ever happened to me is knowing Rob.’
Mark Owen added: “My children Elwood and Willow love Rob. My son draws pictures for him and Ayda. He’s obsessed with him.”
The band are preparing to embark on a 36-date run of stadium shows from Friday (27.05.11) and the singer admits he has been stricken with nerves, but is now looking forward to the concerts.
He said: “A few weeks ago I had a pre-tour panic, a bit of a meltdown, which I went through for a couple of days.
“Not much sleep, but I came through the other end and I’ve been all right since.
“But we’re confident with it now and I think the show’s going to be brilliant.”
The ‘Progress Live’ tour is the first series of concerts the band have embarked on since Robbie Williams rejoined the band last year, 15 years after he quit, and Mark admits they were initially worried about how he would cope not performing solo, but the ‘Rudebox’ singer has turned out to be the most enthusiastic about their elaborate stage productions.
Mark added to Music Week magazine: “Rob’s had to come in and do things he hasn’t done for 10 years or so, and be part of a group. It’s a whole new thing for him, but seeing how well he’s adjusted to it is great. There was a feeling like, ‘What if he doesn’t want to put clown make-up on while he’s singing’ or ‘How’s it going to work with all of us?’ but he’s definitely part of the band in the truest sense.
“In fact, we have to hold him back now – he wants to put make-up on during every song!”
Though Robbie has been back in the band ‘ which also comprises Gary Barlow, Jason Orange and Howard Donald – for some time, Mark admits he is still taken by surprise when he realises they are a five-piece once again.
He said: “Now and again I’d catch myself looking over my shoulder thinking, ‘Oh, we’re back, all of us’ and I’d laugh inside. I can’t believe it. I keep getting this warm feeling.”
The British boyband are huge fans of the ‘Country Strong’ actress and budding singer and loved performances she gave alongside Cee Lo Green and Babyface so much they want her to work on a track for their new album.
Singer Aston Merrygold said: ‘She could be the lead girl on a track. It would be brilliant.’
His bandmate, Marvin Humes, added: ‘She was brilliant on ‘Glee’ and wicked with Babyface too. And with Cee Lo Green.’
As well as working with Gwyneth, the boyband ‘ currently preparing for the release of their 3D movie ‘Eyes Wide Open’ – also hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow boy band Take That, who appear on the soundtrack to new movie ‘X-Men: First class’.
JB joked: ‘We’d like to do something similar one day. I’d like to do it for a film like ‘Gladiator’ but the other boys prefer a rom-com.’
Marvin added: ‘We’re all ladies men so yeah, definitely for a rom-com.’
JLS and Take That will both perform at the National Movie Awards, held at London’s Wembley Arena tonight (11.05.11), which Gwyneth is also set to attend.
With only weeks to go until the start of the most highly anticipated tour of the year, Take That have announced that Pet Shop Boys are to be very special guests on the Progress Live 2011 Tour presented by Samsung.
Pet Shop Boys are the most successful duo in UK music history, having sold 50 million records. With classic hits such as ‘West End girls’, ‘It’s a sin’, ‘Go West’ and, more recently, ‘Love etc.’, they have crafted a unique and hugely influential sound which has seen them achieve seven platinum, two gold and four silver albums in the UK alone. In 2009 they won the ‘Outstanding Contribution To Music’ award at the Brit Awards. Their ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, recently completed a sold-out, two-week season at Sadler’s Wells in London.
Pet Shop Boys said today: ‘We are delighted to accept Take That’s invitation to be part of their Progress show and tour which is undoubtedly going to be one of the most exciting events of 2011. We look forward to every night being a huge celebration of pop music.’
Pet Shop Boys 40-minute set will include highlights of their recent Pandemonium tour which was designed by Es Devlin who is part of the creative team working on the Progress Live 2011 tour.
Progress Live 2011 Presented by Samsung full Tour Dates
27 May – Sunderland Stadium of Light
28 May – Sunderland Stadium of Light
30 May – Sunderland Stadium of Light
31 May – Sunderland Stadium of Light
03 June – City of Manchester Stadium
04 June – City of Manchester Stadium
05 June – City of Manchester Stadium
07 June – City of Manchester Stadium
08 June – City of Manchester Stadium
10 June – City of Manchester Stadium
11 June – City of Manchester Stadium
12 June – City of Manchester Stadium
14 June – Cardiff Millennium Stadium
15 June – Cardiff Millennium Stadium
22 June – Glasgow Hampden Park
23 June – Glasgow Hampden Park
24 June – Glasgow Hampden Park
27 June – Birmingham Villa Park
28 June – Birmingham Villa Park
30 June – Wembley Stadium
01 July – Wembley Stadium
02 July – Wembley Stadium
04 July – Wembley Stadium
05 July – Wembley Stadium
06 July – Wembley Stadium
08 July – Wembley Stadium
09 July – Wembley Stadium
The British singer ‘ who shot to fame as a member of Take That, who he joined when he was just 15 years old ‘ has given his permission for his solo material to be used in a new show being planned for the London stage and bosses have already started auditioning for two ‘Robbies’. A source told The Sun newspaper: ‘Robbie is bang up for the musical and thinks it will be a fun production. ‘He loves West End shows and is honoured they will be doing one about his life.’ A musical based on the life and career of the ‘Angels’ singer is sure to be filled with drama, from his rise to fame with Take That, to his dramatic departure in 1995, leading him to forge a successful solo career and eventually be honoured with more BRIT Awards than any other artist. The 36-year-old pop star has also been in rehab several times to be treated for alcohol and drug addictions but has credited his marriage to actress Ayda Field last summer with providing some stability in his life. He said recently: “Married life is a bit wonderful to be honest, yeah, it really is. Stability and happiness, I’m getting used to it but, you know, it was bound to happen at some point. “Life feels different, there’s like 15 per cent of rubbish that you’re carrying round with you, well me anyway, that’s just disappeared. It’s great being part of a team.” In 2007, a musical based on the songs of Take That toured the UK, before enjoying a London residency the following year.
UK Music Sales Dip Further In 2010 But Digital Albums Hit The Mainstream. A third successive record year for singles and the emergence of a mainstream market for digital albums failed to halt a further overall decline in UK music sales in a market that remains heavily distorted by still-increasing levels of illegal downloading, new Official Charts Company data released today by the BPI confirmed.
Combined sales of digital and physical albums overall fell by 7.0% to 119.9m in 2010, with growth in digital sales failing to offset the decline in physical CD sales. Despite the encouraging digital albums sales of 21.0m, growing 30.6% on last year’s sales of 16.1m, the market for CD albums declined 12.4% to 98.5m from 112.5m in 2009.
The singles market recorded an all-time sales high of 161.8m, 5.9% up on 2009′s tally of 152.7m, reflecting the unparalleled choice and value on offer from the UK’s burgeoning digital music retail environment. 5.2m tracks were downloaded in the final week of 2010 – the first time weekly sales have surpassed 5m. Sales of digital single tracks represented 98.0% of overall singles sales, with CD singles only accounting for 1.9m sales, down on last year’s total of 2.5m.
Geoff Taylor, BPI Chief Executive, said, “2010 showed that the digital singles highs seen in the previous two years were no fluke – music fans continue to embrace the convenience, value and choice offered by legal download stores. The market for digital albums also went mainstream in 2010 with nearly a fifth of sales now coming from online services.
“Yet however encouraging it is to see the digital market grow, this must be seen against the bigger picture. Despite unprecedented demand for music, and strong innovation offering consumers new ways to access music online, legal downloads are unable to offset the decline in CD sales because they are dwarfed by illegal competition.
“We will continue to do everything we can to promote the legal market, but meaningful action to tackle illegal downloading remains absolutely critical if we are to stabilise British music sales, let alone return to growth. Without it, investment in new digital services and in British musical talent will begin to dry up.”
Tony Wadsworth, BPI Chairman, added, “Consumer choice for recorded music has never been greater – both in depth of catalogue and the many ways to buy it. It is now crucial that action to stem illegal downloading, incentivising continued investment in this popular art form, is implemented decisively and urgently.”
It was a solid year for British artists in the 2010 album charts. Take That’s Progress was crowned overall year-end album chart champion, selling more than 1.8m copies during 2010. It was boosted in part by first week sales of almost 520,000, making it the fastest-selling album of this millennium.
Including Take That, The Official Charts Company end-of-year artist album Top 10 boasted five placings from new and established British talent, including Plan B’s The Defamation of Strickland Banks (No.5), Paolo Nutini’s Sunny Side Up (No.6), Florence & The Machine’s Lungs (No.8) and Mumford & Sons’ Sigh No More (No.10).
While Pop and Urban titles dominated the bestsellers list, there were also big successes for Classical artist André Rieu – who had two albums in the year-end Top 30 – and Michael Bublé, whose Crazy Love (classified as MOR / Easy) was the second-biggest selling UK album overall.
Eminem featuring Rihanna’s Love The Way You Lie sold 854,000 copies to become the UK’s No.1 single of 2010, narrowly seeing off a late challenge from X-Factor winner Matt Cardle’s single When We Collide which ended 2010 as the second biggest-selling single. Tinie Tempah also featured in the year-end Top 10 with his breakout hit Pass Out.
UK record companies and retailers worked hard during 2010 to make CDs available to consumers in record numbers of outlets on the high street. The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) confirmed that over 6,600 stores stocked CDs in the run up to Christmas, compared to just over 4,600 at the beginning of 2010 – around 15% more than the 5,750 in 1999, music’s previous boom year.
Take That comeback album fastest seller since Oasis. Take That have smashed records in the U.K. with the band’s comeback album ‘Progress’ becoming the highest first-week seller in 13 years. Within a week, ‘Progress’ sold just shy of 520,000 copies, which is the highest opening week since Oasis’ 1997 album ‘Be Here Now’. The band have released several albums since their heyday after reforming in 2006, but without original member Robbie Williams who left to pursue a hugely successful solo career, they never quite matched their peak, but earlier this year it was announced that Robbie would rejoin the band and it has proved fruitful. In 1995 the band exploded onto the world with ‘Back For Good’ from the album ‘Nobody Else’. They were one of the giants of the boy band phenomenon and easily the most successful to come out of the UK. Rihanna’s ‘Loud’ entered the charts at number two and didn’t stand a chance.
Take That Announces Summer Tour 2011 With Robbie Williams. Reformed ’90s boyband Take That has announced their biggest ever tour for the summer of 2011. The British pop group will also be reunited with ex-member Robbie Williams on their 14-date stadium road show. For the first time as a five-piece group in 16 years, Take That is embarking on the “Progress Live 2011″ tour, which is described as a “feast for the imagination, charting the evolution and progress of Take That and Robbie Williams through their extraordinary 20-year history.” The live shows will celebrate the group’s biggest hits from the last two decades, as well as Robbie’s chart-topping solo career. The tour follows the release of the boys’ new album “Progress” on November 22, and the release of its first single “The Flood” on November 15. Tickets for the tour’s shows at Hampden Park, Glasgow on June 22nd and 23rd will go on sale on October 29.
Robbie Williams very excited being back with Take That.. No retirement for Robbie Williams now he joined Take That. Robbie Williams would have retired from pop music if he hadn’t rejoined Take That. The ‘Angels’ hitmaker – who quit the group in 1995, a year before they split, and refused to join their comeback in 2005 ‘ is thrilled to be back working with Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Howard Donald and Jason Orange again but admits he would have contemplated turning his back on his career if he hadn’t been asked to sing with the band again. He told our source: ‘f it wasn’t for the boys, I would probably be doing nothing because I quite enjoy doing nothing now. It does feel like the end of one of the last chapters in the book and I do feel a bit spent to be honest with you. I”m loving what’s to come, obviously, and I’m very excited being back with the boys, our album sounds amazing, I’m excited to do the tour and all that business . But I’m kind of still at a loose end figuring out what I want to do when I grow up.’ The 36-year-old singer has also admitted he ‘couldn’t be a**ed’ when recording his most last studio solo LP ‘Reality Killed The Video Star’ because he no longer knew what sort of music his fans wanted him to produce. He added: ‘t kind of was going through the motions, because, as you know, I was all hyped up about doing ‘Rudebox’ and going down that road and then everybody went, ‘No!’ ‘But I didn’t want to do another ‘Come Undone’, or another ‘Angels’, or another ‘Road To Mandalay’ – you do find yourself sort of in the boggy marsh of then thinking, ‘Well I don’t quite fancy doing that anymore.’ And because everyone had gone, ‘No’, I went, ‘Well, OK, I can’t be a**ed either.’ ‘And you know, I did find myself capitulating and going, ‘Well do they want THIS then.’ It’s like this idea of knowing your audience ‘ and knowing that my audience didn’t like ‘Rudebox’ left me thinking, ‘Well, er, I don’t know what to do now.’ ‘
Robbie Williams is reportedly going to ask Gary Barlow to be best man at his wedding. The ‘Bodies’ singer has decided to get the Take That frontman to take on the duty instead of his close pal Mark Owen when he marries fiancee Ayda Field. A member of Robbie’s family is quoted by the Daily Star newspaper as saying: ‘Rob is very fond of Gary and considers him a solid rock in his life. ‘Mark was always one of his fun time pals, but Rob really wants to thank Gary and show his respect for their special bond.’Robbie’s long-time best friend Jonathan Wilkes will also act as a best man at the 36-year-old pop star’s wedding.The former Take That bandmates had a high-profile feud following Robbie’s departure from the group in 1995.However, in recent years the pair have patched up their differences and it is believed at some point Robbie will rejoin Take That.He recently said: ‘It will happen – but not in the next two years. There are contracts to fulfil, then I can do what I want.”
Take That Reunion With Robbie Put On Hold. Take That’s plans to reunite with former band mate Robbie Williams have been put on hold until current band member Mark Owen has dealt with his drink issues. Owen recently admitted to having up to 10 affairs and a severe alcohol problem. It was thought that the Take That reunion was imminent, after Robbie joined the group in a recording studio in LA. The U.K. newspaper The Mirror reported that the collaboration was meant to happen this month in Wiltshire. However, plans have now been put on hold as Owen is attempting to deal with his problem and salvage his marriage to Emma Ferguson. A source spoke about Take That working with Robbie and said: “They were all heading down [to record], Robbie included, but the plan has been scrapped for now. All they care about is Mark at the moment and it wouldn’t feel the same all of them practicing for their comeback without him.” The insider added: “All excitement about the future is very much on hold because Mark’s got to get better first.” It has now been reported that Owen has checked in to rehab to receive help for his issues with drink and depression.