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Gary Barlow insists he’s “the only one who is any fun” in Take That

By | Published on Monday 24 September 2018

Take That

If you manage to make your way backstage at one of the upcoming Take That 30th anniversary shows, don’t expect a party.

Not unless you’re so desperate for a drink that you’re willing to hang out with Gary Barlow, that is. Gary’s the party man in Take That, you see. When not on stage, he wears a baseball cap and t-shirt bearing the moniker ‘Take That Party Man’ just to prove it. Probably.

“I’m the only one [in Take That] who is any fun”, mugs Barlow at The Mirror. “Stick with me. I am the last one standing”.

Sure, Gary. I’ve just, er, I think I left my, er, thing in the, er, over there.

If you were in any doubt about Barlow’s status as the wild man of pop, bandmate Howard Donald confirms that he once “had seventeen glasses of wine in one night”.

I’m not sure why Donald was sitting there counting how many glasses of wine Barlow was drinking. Maybe this legendary wine binge is just something Barlow himself goes around bragging about and Donald’s never thought to question the boast.

It’s hard to know what that “seventeen glasses” brag really means though, isn’t it? If you’re going by standard wine glasses, it suggests Barlow was on his way to downing three bottles all on his own, while screaming “WHERE ARE ALL MY PARTY ANIMALS AT?!” into the backstage void.

But they could have been thimble-sized helpings. At least when James Tussle at my school insisted that his cousin had been caught drink driving after consuming 73 pints of lager, there was an actual proper measurable quantity to gauge that claim on. Though, to this day I suspect that might not have been entirely accurate. We will never know for sure.

With the exact quantity of wine Barlow is able to drink remaining ambiguous, even if we believe the claims he and his bandmates have made, we need another measure of alcohol tolerance. Like, say, how many Gary Barlows are there to one Liam Gallagher?

“I would like a drink with Liam for sure – show him a thing or two”, shouts Barlow, as things all start to turn a bit ‘Withnail & I’.

Alright, how does he rate against Take That’s 90s rivals Boyzone, who are Irish after all, and are therefore obliged by the rules of stereotype to be particularly boozy.

“We’ve only ever had one night out with Boyzone and it was in Paris”, Barlow says. “They can drink. They are Irish. Oh my God. I remember one of them having fights with people and we were like ‘what is going on here?’ They are hardcore”.

You heard it here first, Ronan Keating is harder than Liam Gallagher.

Anyway, amazingly, all this pointless banter is meant to be promoting something. Take That have a new album, ‘Odyssey’, and tour dates coming up. Both will see them performing new versions of songs from their back catalogue.

For a bit of a taste of what to expect, they’ve released a new version of fan-favourite ‘Pray’, all slowed down and made super tedious. If it’s a sign of what’s to come, Take That fans might need to drink like they’re members of Boyzone to get through the shows.

Tickets for the tour go on general sale this Friday. Support will come from Rick Astley, showing that all his efforts to make his new music sound like a less good version of latter day Take That songs has paid off. Here are all the many dates:

15 Apr: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
16 Apr: Sheffield, FlyDSA Arena
18 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
19 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
20 Apr: Glasgow, Hydro
22 Apr: Manchester Arena
23 Apr: Manchester Arena
25 Apr: Manchester Arena
26 Apr: Manchester Arena
27 Apr: Manchester Arena
29 Apr: Dublin, 3Arena
2 May: London, O2 Arena
3 May: London, O2 Arena
4 May: London, O2 Arena
5 May: London, O2 Arena
7 May: London, O2 Arena
8 May: London, O2 Arena
12 May: Birmingham Arena
13 May: Birmingham Arena
14 May: Birmingham Arena
17 May: Birmingham Arena
18 May: Birmingham Arena
23 May: Milton Keynes, Stadium MK
25 May: Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium
28 May: Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium
30 May: Norwich, Carrow Road Stadium
1 Jun: Middlesborough, Riverside Stadium
4 Jun: Huddersfield, John Smith’s Stadium