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Jan 17, 2017

Gary talks about new musical “The Girls”
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With an abundance of exciting new shows set to hit the West End over the next few months, there’s one in particular, which has got the critics writhing with anticipation and after watching a rehearsal, I can say that Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s The Girls promises to be a musical not to be missed, writes Nicky Sweetland.

Based on the beloved real-life story of the Calendar Girls, which saw a group of Yorkshire women hit the headlines when they posed for a nude WI charity calendar, the new musical will open in the West End next month and feature songs by the Take That star Gary Barlow, who spoke with fervor about the task of setting the tale to music and said: “First and foremost, this is an unbelievable story and the best thing of all is that it’s a true story. The real people are here to tell the story; the Calendar Girls are with us every step of the way with this musical, so as a writer, to have that put in front of you and to see the opportunity for music has been incredible.”

The real life fable has become something of British legend and was made into a blockbuster movie in 2003 starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. It was later adapted as a stage play, which was performed both in the West End and by amateur organisations across the country. Writer Tim Firth had always intended to turn the story into a musical and after taking his childhood friend Gary Barlow to see a production of the play in Milton Keynes, the pair embarked on the project.

Tim Firth explained: “ The truth is that lots of people thought, when I first wrote it as a play and a film that it was a musical. I used to see it printed in the paper as the new musical Calendar Girls and after a while I started to think well maybe there is a musical here.”

As the writing process progressed, the duo decided to give more focus to the families and community involved in the tale.

“The idea grew of creating a village green musical for the world, a musical that radiates out from this village green and that tells the story of this extraordinary feat but also of the husbands and the kids. It allows you to spend more time with the village and enjoy that comedy and that’s when we set sail.” Said Tim.

Gary adds, “I had to feel like I could bring something to it and immediately, while we were watching the play I could hear the music, I could hear what it could sound like and I could hear how it could help the story and what it could bring to the whole process, so for me it was incredibly exciting. It’s been a bit of a journey.”

The Girls has already wowed audiences with performances in both Leeds and Manchester and will open at the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road on 21st February. As well as boasting music by British favourite Gary Barlow, the production features choreography by Lizzi Gee and has an all-star cast to play the unadorned Yorkshire lovelies, including Michele Dotrice, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding.
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Apr 26, 2016

Gary at the ‘Eddie The Eagle’ premiere (March 17)
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I’ve added 44 HQ photos of Gary Barlow at the ‘Eddie The Eagle’ premiere in London on March 17, 2016. Enjoy!



March 17th – Gary Barlow At The ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Premiere In London

Feb 14, 2016

Gary Barlow: ‘We had to crawl under the sheets’
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Gary talks about embarrassing touring moments and why he could consider a career as a wedding singer in a new interview for Today online.


The date was Oct 10, 1995. The place: The Singapore Indoor Stadium. British boy band Take That performed to a packed house on the last lap of its Never Forget world tour. But that concert would be the only time that Singapore audiences saw the band performing ‘live’ on our shores. Within months, in February 1996, the group would officially disbanded.

Made up of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams, Take That was considered the premier British boy band of the early 1990s, with a slew of hits, from fast-paced numbers such as Relight My Fire, Everything Changes and Pray to ballads such as Back For Good, Never Forget and Love Ain’t Here Anymore.

The members would go on to have individual careers — some with more success than others — but it would take a decade before they would fulfil fans’ wishes to get back for good, with an album (Beautiful World) and a tour. In the meantime, the space they vacated would filled by other boy bands who flourished in the late 1990s, such as Boyzone, Backstreet Boys and Westlife.

Now, 20 years after they first broke up, Take That will once again be coming back to Singapore. The concert, on March 5, is in conjunction with the HSBC Women’s Championship 2016 golf tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club, and will be performed on a custom stage built on the driving range. Just don’t expect Take That to hit the fairways.

“Howard does (play golf), but I know nothing about golf,” said Barlow in a phone interview. “We’re not in the golf tournament, so that’s a relief to me. The one thing I owe to golf, though, is that we have this opportunity to go to Singapore again and to see the beautiful audience again. So I’ll be ever in golf’s debt for what it’s done for us this year.”

Barlow said he remembered the 1995 concert “like it was yesterday”, partly because they had “a really good show” — “my fondest memory is of the audience,” he added — but also because his then-girlfriend (whom he would marry in 2000) was also in Singapore at the time.

“My wife flew out to Singapore to be with me. We got together just before we went to Singapore. That’s why I know it’s been 20 years since we’ve been to Singapore.”
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Feb 13, 2016

Gary Barlow: Inside the music coming soon
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Feb 13, 2016

“What You Mean To Me” Now available on Spotify
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“What You Mean To Me” by Gary Barlow, Eliot Kennedy and Lang Lang from Finding Neverland Broadway Musical is now available on Spotify!



Feb 10, 2016

Gary Barlow Interview: The Take That Singer On Working With His ’80s Idols For ‘Eddie The Eagle’ Soundtrack
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Read out below a new interview that Gary gave to Idolator.


When Gary Barlow met with the film producer Matthew Vaughan to discuss theTake That singer-songwriter potentially overseeing the music for Eddie The Eagle, Vaughan’s biopic about Britain’s legendary Olympic ski-jumper, “I left thinking, God, this could be one of the easiest gigs ever,” Barlow says. “I could get a hold of all those jukebox songs, bust them into a couple of scenes, pick up the check, and the job’s done.”

But Barlow resisted stuffing Fly (Songs Inspired By the Film Eddie The Eagle) (out March 18) with licensed throwbacks — say, Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle” and R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly.” Instead, he spent almost all of 2015 making an album of original songs with members of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ABC, Spandau Ballet, OMD and Soft Cell, as well as Howard Jones, Kim Wilde, Nik Kershaw,Midge Ure and Paul Young. Britons all, they took turns topping the charts around the globe back when their countryman, Michael “Eddie” Edwards, was dreaming of becoming an Olympian. (Despite spending less than a year in training, he went to Calgary as the country’s first competitive jumper since 1988, and his gutsy last-place leaps made him an instant folk hero.)

“I wish I could’ve been a producer and songwriter in the 1980s, so [this] was the perfect excuse for me to try and live out that decade,” says Barlow, speaking with Idolator by phone from his apartment in London. The affable Mancunian, who was in his tweens and teens during the Thatcher years, remembers the ’80s as a time “when I started to get serious about music. I got my first pair of headphones and I could really start listening to the details: The sounds that were being used, the production techniques. It was all led by equipment, because technology was moving so quickly — the drum machine was brand-new. But when you really study those records, the vocalists are really what gave it that flavor. That’s why I gravitated to the Tony Hadleys, the Nik Kershaws, the Holly Johnsons. As soon as you hear them sing you go, ‘That’s so-and- so!’”
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Feb 4, 2016

Take That returns to Singapore in March
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English boy band Take That’s 25-year career has been a roller-coaster ride but they remain one of the biggest pop groups to date.

They survived a decade-long break-up in 1996 and the departure of original members Robbie Williams in 1995 and Jason Orange in 2014.

Remaining members Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, who are in their 40s, continue to soldier on. The trio will headline the music line-up of the HSBC Women’s Champions next month. Other performers include US EDM artist Jack Novak and local acts DJ Farz and DJ Li.A.

M caught up with father-of-three Barlow, who was speaking on behalf of Take That, via audio recording – two decades since Take That last performed in Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 1995.

M caught up with father-of-three Barlow, who was speaking on behalf of Take That, via audio recording – two decades since Take That last performed in Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in 1995.

What is your fondest memory of Singapore?

I had just got together with my then-girlfriend, now wife Dawn. She flew to Singapore to be with me and we had the most romantic couple of days together.

We split from the band and had a great time wandering around the gorgeous city. My memories are extremely great because it was the start of what has been the most amazing relationship with my wife, so I really have to thank Singapore for that.

What experiences did you have when you were last here?

It has to be the Singapore Sling. Dawn couldn’t finish the drink and I foolishly finished it for her. Of course, 20 minutes later, I was slumped in my chair having a four-hour nap.

As for the fans, I remember the concert as loud with a great audience, so I look forward to seeing the fans again.

You once mentioned in an interview that Take That would always be a quintet. Why so?

When we talk about the group, we talk about everybody who started the band.

We were a five-piece in the beginning and over the next 20 years, if we are around to see them, the numbers will continue to change.

People will join, leave and rejoin. That’s the kind of excitement I feel because you never know who’s leaving or coming back next and that makes it a brand new experience.

There are downsides. We miss Rob and Jay but on the bright side, you feel like you’re in a new environment and that keeps things fresh.

How’s your relationship with Williams and Orange?

We have a very good relationship with them because they are part of our brand and they obviously have an interest in it.

We always tell them what we’re doing because we don’t want any surprises for them. They both know the door is always open at any time for them to come back, join us and make great music again.

I spoke to Rob a week ago but I have not spoken to Jason since Christmas.

In general, all members keep up with each other’s lives, so that’s a great thing. I consider them among some of my closest friends.

For 25 years, (Take That has) been a part of all our lives and we feel very blessed to have been able to do it. Whether we like it or not, we’re linked and I think it’s a great thing.

There are talks of a Las Vegas residency for Take That. Is this true?

It is still premature and might not be happening until 2017. It’s something we’re incredibly proud to be asked to do and are very excited about.

We’re talking a type of show in Vegas that we won’t be doing anywhere else in the world and we’ll be doing it for a few years, so we’re really looking forward to that.

I think it’s a step forward in the band’s career by broadening our horizons and going to a new country. We will be doing a bespoke Vegas show and it will be very theatrical.

US boy bands New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys teamed up in 2011 for a concert tour together.

Can we expect the same for Take That with, say, UK boy bands like Westlife or Boyzone?

I would say ‘no’ for the time being because our situation feels quite brand new and we’re just about to embark on our 25th anniversary, so it will be just Take That for the next few years.

Who knows in the future? I think we are due for a collaboration but I just don’t know who that will be with yet. Watch this space.

Have you caught up with those peers from the 90s?

I’m good friends with (Boyzone’s) Ronan Keating, he came to one of Take That’s shows last year.

Apart from that, I don’t know a lot of people who were in boy bands. Maybe I should get out more and meet more boy band members. That sounds good.


Feb 1, 2016

Take That will celebrate their 25th anniversary with their biggest ever live tour
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In an exclusive interview with The Sun Gary confirmed that Take That will celebrate their 25th anniversary with their biggest ever tour and that is highly likely that Robbie will be part of the celebrations. Sadly, he apparently denied that Jason wil be back too.

Gary also confirmed a new album for this year and a Greatest Hits for 2017.


Gary confirmed: “The big goal for this year is getting another Take That album out.

We’ll do a Greatest Hits album next year and tour the year after. A Greatest Hits with everyone would be amazing but I personally can’t imagine Jason coming back on stage for quite a few years. But if Rob could do something that would be brilliant.”

When asked if there was any substance to speculation surrounding the return of Jason, who quit in 2014, Gary added: “I’d love to say everyone will be back but in truth it will probably be four.”

The band’s recent tours, The Circus Live, Progress and Take That Live 2015, have been massive productions so they’ll have to go some way to top them. Gary is keen to celebrate the band’s landmark in huge stadiums despite enjoying intimate gigs over the past 12 months, including their show at The Roundhouse in Camden, North London, last September as part of the iTunes Festival.

He said of the gig: “We loved that. A lot of our audience have commented on it, the fans really love the small thing. But again, we always love the bigger stuff.

“It would be an enormous tour, across Europe, probably the world tour if I’m honest.”



Jan 15, 2016

Howard Donald welcomes baby boy
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Howard welcomed his first child with wife Katie Halil on January 12th. The couple named their baby boy Bowie Taylan Donald as a tribute to the legendary singer David Bowie. Both Katie and Bowie are doing well.

Congratulations to the happy couple!!



Dec 20, 2015

Take That: These Days On Tour
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“Take That: These Days On Tour” BBC One Special interview airs on Tuesday December 22 at 22:35 on BBC One. Check out below four exclusive clips. More info here.

Up close and personal with Take That – Gary, Howard and Mark open up about life on tour. The band talk openly about the previous twelve months, their loyal fans and what it takes to put on a world-class show. With songs and performances from their first album, their latest album and everything in between, this tells the story of Take That – their music, their evolution, and their consistently mesmerising tour.


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