Virtual Concerts, Take That and We’ll “Never Forget” 2020

I missed my regular session of blogging yesterday morning as Mr WIAA and I instead headed out to source a 3m wide gazebo ahead of being able to invite one other family into our back garden for a socially distanced chat, with no offer of refreshments being made of course. Am I really writing this? The phrase “you couldn’t make it up” comes to mind but this is indeed the new normal. It wasn’t easy, but after waiting in a fair few long queues we found something cheap and cheerful that would do the job – Now we just have to work out who might be up for the idea. With no family living locally it’s down to friends and I’m fully aware we might not be at the top of their lists for a wee while yet, as they do have family who live locally.

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Billy No-Mates
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A socially distanced chat anyone?

As we enter week 11 of lockdown (with partial easing) here in Scotland, I can see that people are getting restless, and they won’t be able to keep to the rules for much longer. Let’s hope they don’t have to but I am nervous, must be said. My heart goes out to those who have lost a loved one but my heart also goes out to those who have lost their jobs and businesses. It’s certainly a tricky situation to get out of, and I’m glad I’m not the one having to make the difficult decisions.

I did have a few drafts backing up around here which I could have returned to today but somehow the moment passes and the song choices are no longer relevant. Instead I am going to tell you about something which raised my spirits on Friday night. There have been many online attempts at virtual concerts of late, some more successful than others, but when a friend told me that Take That were going to be streaming live from 8pm on the 29th, I thought I’d give it a whirl (link here). Boy was I glad I did as for 40 minutes or so I forgot all about the pesky virus that has affected our lives so much.

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I was way too old for Take That when they appeared on the scene back in the early ’90s but they soon became the biggest boy band in the land, racking up an impressive run of chart hits between 1991 and 1996 including eight releases that reached the No. 1 spot. Gary generally wrote and performed the songs, whereas Howard and Jason were primarily dancers. Robbie and Mark were jack-of-all-trades, dancing, singing and offering themselves up as teen idols. Their live shows were spectacular and when they split there was a period of national mourning amongst their young fans. Richard and Judy even had to set up a helpline (I know this because it happened during one of the rare times I caught sight of daytime television as I had just given birth to DD and was on maternity leave).

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In 2006, to the delight of their fans who like them were now a lot older and had kids of their own, they reformed, and so started the successful run of their existence as a 4-piece (sans Robbie). They were now a man band but the shows became even more spectacular, there were many more successful albums, and four more No. 1 hits. Eventually Jason too left the fold but they are still going strong today as a middle-aged man band and for the virtual concert on Friday night, for one night only, Robbie re-joined.

It was great fun, I can’t deny, and somehow using only basic technology we could hear all four of them from the comfort of their very own home studios (although some perhaps more basic than others – Mark?). They were able to perform many of the big hits, Back For Good, Shine, The Flood and Pray (Howard and Mark still have those moves) to name but a few, complete with fine virtual backgrounds courtesy of green screen. All these years later they have been able to become the kind of men they always were, not having to conform to a homogenised bandified look, and whilst watching the concert I gave them all nicknames: Flash, Natty, Scruffy and Dandy. If anyone wants to guess which name fitted each band member, feel free to leave a comment in the boxes below.

As is wont to happen at their big live concerts they ended the show with this song, Never Forget. I am a big fan as it features Howard Donald on vocals who rarely got top-billing which made me warm to him the most. It’s tough when you’re not perhaps the best singer, dancer or song-writer within a band, but when you do get your moment in the sun, it just makes it all the more special.

Never Forget by Take That:

The opening section of Never Forget is taken from Verdi’s Requiem, sung by the Henllen Boys Choir. The official music video contained a montage of the band’s childhood moments, but whenever I hear it I just think it sums up their history:

We’ve come a long way
But we’re not too sure where we’ve been
We’ve had success, we’ve had good times…

Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream…

So, “What’s It All About?” – Looks as if attempts are being made at returning to some semblance of normality, but all that means is that the hospitals can now probably cope better with an influx of patients, not that the virus has gone away. 2016 wasn’t great for several reasons, neither was 2017. 2018 was bad for us as a family and 2019 wasn’t much better. I had high hopes for 2020 but turns out it has been worse than anything most of us will ever have experienced. My daughter’s life is in disarray and our businesses are in mothballs leaving us with little income. Ironically, because the virus hasn’t made it into my mum’s care home, her life has changed very little and she always seems really happy when I call. 2020 is a year we will never forget, nor should we, but my goodness I’m really ready for things to improve. Hope that joyful little bit of entertainment on Friday night will kickstart something good. It’s time now.

Never Forget Lyrics
(Song by Gary Barlow)

We’ve come a long way
But we’re not too sure where we’ve been
We’ve had success we’ve had good times
But remember this

Been on this path of life for so long
Feel I’ve walked a thousand miles
Sometimes strolled hand in hand with love
Everybody’s been there

With danger on my mind
I would stand on the line
Of hope and I knew I could make it

Once I knew the boundaries
I looked into the clouds
And saw my face in the moonlight

Just then I realised what a fool I could be
Just ’cause I look so high I don’t have to see me
Finding a paradise wasn’t easy but still
There’s a road going down the other side of this hill

Never forget where you’ve come here from
Never pretend that it’s all real
Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream
This will be someone else’s dream

Safe from the arms of disappointment for so long
Feel each day we’ve come too far
Yet each day seems to make much more
Sure it’s good to be here

I understand the meaning
Of “I can’t explain this feeling”
Now that it feels so unreal

At night I see the hand
That reminds me of the stand
That I make the fact of reality

Never forget where you’ve come here from
Never pretend that it’s all real
Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream
This will be someone else’s dream

We’ve come so far and we’ve reached so high
And we’ve looked each day and night in the eye
And we’re still so young and we hope for more
But remember this

We’re not invincible, we’re not invincible, no
We’re only people, we’re only people
Hey we’re not invincible, we’re not invincible
So again I’ll tell you

Never forget where you’ve come here from
Never pretend that it’s all real
Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream
This will be someone else’s dream

Never
Never forget babe
Never pretend that it’s all real
Someday soon this will all be someone else’s dream
This will be someone else’s dream

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

8 thoughts on “Virtual Concerts, Take That and We’ll “Never Forget” 2020”

    1. There have been many attempts at virtual concerts from home and some feel more successful than others. Good for the artists to put themselves up for it however but feel so sorry for the jobbing musicians and back room boys who are now out of work for the foreseeable.

      Stay well Neil.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There’s no denying that Take That know how to write a well-crafted song, even it it’s not my normal cup of tea. I have a soft spot for ‘The Flood’, and going back a little further, it has to be ‘Back For Good’. Missed the virtual concert but love the pics here, they look so beautifully craggy and natural’ not that homogenised look, as you say. Nothing wrong with a bit of craggy in my view…
    Love your nicknames for them. Can’t figure out exactly who they might belong to without having watched the footage but I suspect Robbie is either Flash or Dandy?
    Hope you get to enjoy a socially-distanced gazebo gathering soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always thought of them as young whippersnappers but of course we all get older and they are all around aged 50 now! Where does the time go? Also they’ve been around for about 30 years now so a massive body of work under their respective belts and Gary certainly knows how to craft a great pop song.

      As for the nicknames, yes Robbie was Flash as he donned a pink tiger print jacket for some of the show.

      Yes, hope we get some takers for the gazebo soon although somehow you don’t want to offend neighbours by not choosing them first. As for the friends no-one is doing much galivanting here as yet so will be patient.

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  2. My wife convinced me to go and see Take That at Wembley..this was in 2010 and the sceptic in me just didn’t believe that they’d be any good. Well i was totally blown away by them, the show was brilliant..the musicians were top notch…i’ve seen many gigs of all types, for instance I’d seen Black Sabbath with Van Halen in support….James Brown, the Pet Shop Boys were very impressive….Joni Mitchell, but hand on heart Take That were right up there..the crowd were brilliant and Never Forget is not only a great pop song it’s also a hell of a way to end a gig…..hats off to them.
    Still one of the best gigs I’ve seen..mind you the Tubes at the Glasgow School of Art was awesome as well, should’ve been catching George Clinton on Wed, maybe next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad the sceptic in you didn’t back out – I’ve not seen them live sadly but I have a few friends who’ve been to a show and agree with you in that it was brilliant. From what I’ve seen on telly they really do put on an extravangza and with so many great songs in their back pocket they can’t fail really. Impressed that Howard and Mark can still perform some of the trademark dance moves as they’re getting on a bit now!! As for Never Forget, it’s a great way to end the show and I just love that Howard gets his moment in the sun – He’s put in the legwork (literally) and now he gets to shine.

      Sorry you’re going to miss George on Wednesday – I should have been at a show in London this weekend. Can’t see that these mass gatherings will happening again this side of 2021. Awful for all the people who depend on them for their living – The roadies, crew, musicians etc. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. I was never a fan – obviously not my demographic – but I could (and still can) recognise Barlow’s songwriting chops. When he wrote this I could tell straightaway it was a banger. It’s appeared on a couple of playlists of mine over the years, I’m not ashamed to tell you..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is different when you’re observing all those heart-broken fans from a different age demographic – I could relate as I had been one of those screaming fans (remember my Bay City Rollers & David Cassidy posts) back in the day. As for the songs, they are now classic pop of the highest calibre – That Barlow chap certainly knows how to write a good ‘un. As for the song with Agnetha, she actually appeared with him on one of those charity fundraiser concerts back in 2013 and as she hadn’t ventured out from her home in Sweden for an awful long time, it certainly was a coup and I don’t quite think he could believe what was happening.

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