We were setting off for a camping holiday to France the next day when our eldest daughter Jemma heard out that Take That were going to be in Chester to sign autographs. She wanted me to take her in the car but I was busy loading it up ready for the trip so she went on the bus instead. Jemma arrived just too late to get her autographs but she did see them and managed somehow to appear on the video. I’ve felt bad about that ever since because I’d let my daughter down. On reflection, the couple of hours it would have taken would not have made a huge difference to my schedule. Take That were after all her favourite band.
Now we jump forward to 2011 and for the sake of those who haven’t heard or don’t care, Take That are currently touring with Robbie Williams. This will be the first time they have sung together on tour since 1995 when the band split or to be correct when Williams was sacked.
A mind-boggling 1.76 million people will see the 27 UK dates, eight of them at Wembley Stadium (breaking the record seven set by Michael Jackson's Bad tour).
Getting hold of a ticket must have been like finding gold in your back garden because 1.34 million of those tickets were snapped up within 24 hours of going on sale, more than doubling Take That's own record, set on 2008's Circus tour. However, our girls know how to achieve the impossible and managed to get six tickets for one of the Manchester dates and so they will be there along with some of their friends, one of whom has flown from Hong Kong especially for the show. They even have a ticket for my wife Pamela who will be flying to Manchester next week and have bought her one of those folding seats so she doesn't have to stand for hours before the show starts.
I don’t think Pam and the girls will be disappointed, this tour involves 238 trucks, six weeks of rehearsals, a rumoured £15m budget and the Pet Shop Boys as the support band, whose scaled-down yet typically classy performance has been described as a bit like getting Michelangelo in to do the kitchen ceiling. There will be explosions of ticker tape, elevating platforms, glowing stages, ghost-like dancers wielding flaming torches, dancing trees, roller-skating bees, even a giant caterpillar and Robbie Williams being carried aloft on a glass chariot.
Nobody knows how long the reunion will last. Even though they sing, “Back for Good”, this may be the last time to see the five together on stage again. More important, it may be the only chance for Pam to see Robbie Williams and Take That live – she will love it.