This post deals with a much more youthful Take That *grin* They had a more manufactured and cocky feel in those days, but even then they were most definitely insane ;)
Nobody Else Tour (1995)
Have you ever wondered what a boyband would look and sound like if they suddenly switched to playing hard rock in the middle of a concert? ;) Well, here’s your chance to find out. This is Take That at the height of their 90s career playing “It Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana. Incidentally, this used to be one of my most frustrating experiences of trying to catch Gary out on any sort of vocal imperfection ;) The worst I ever found was around the 2:55 mark when he’s on the steps and his voice kind of catches, which is not much of a mistake really ;) As a teenager I found this incredibly frustrating because it was one of the most demanding songs I’d heard Gary sing, plus he’s screaming his lungs out and prancing about. If I was to ever have my chance to catch him out then this was it! Furthermore, I’d never heard a live performance of this track by Nirvana that did not have somewhat screwed up vocals (I still haven’t actually - and I’m not saying Take That’s version is better or anything, I’m just saying Gary’s singing in tune and his lungs are holding out ;)).
Another part of this tour I really like is the outfit changing sequence. There’s a lot of changing clothes during Take That concerts and the challenge is always what to do with the audience while the band is putting on the next set of outfits. Changing in front of the audience is as good a solution as any ;)
A mini version of Take That come on stage to sing “It Only Takes a Minute” and then the full-size Take That appear. The two Take Thats have to fight it out… One of their most ridiculous ideas IMO ;) (and also a very good way of keeping the audience involved while they’re changing clothes ;-P)
In the middle of the concert, Take That decide they want to audition for a 1950s Rock’n Roll band - this is the result ;) Once again, they’re very clever about giving themselves time to change clothes and get appropriate props for every “audition” (in fact Gary gets shooed off the stage early from the previous number, which is why he’s on first).
A number I don’t love quite as much as some of the others, but wanted to mention anyway is “Whatever You Do To Me”. As I said, I’m a sucker for innovative microphone usage and that one takes the cake ;) Well that, and the moment when the saxophone player gets “shot” is particularly satisfying *grin*
Take That & Party Tour (1993)
This is a track called “Clap Your Hands“, which although composed by Take That, was never actually recorded on any of their albums. Both the tune and the routine is… well weird ;) If the term “art house boyband” existed then I think this is the sort of thing it would refer to ;)
Another performance from this tour which is worth a look is “Give Good Feeling” (part one & part two). In the middle of a conventional routine, Gary suddenly decides they should stop singing and get back to the discussion they had in the dressing room ;)