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The Band - who says men can't enjoy the great sounds of Take That?

PUBLISHED: 09:23 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:09 13 February 2019

The music of Take That comes to life in The Band, Photo: Matt Crockett

The music of Take That comes to life in The Band, Photo: Matt Crockett

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The Band - the new musical at The Regent Theatre in Ipswich until Saturday.

Schoolgirl fans enjoying the early music of Take That in  The Band, Photo:Matt CrockettSchoolgirl fans enjoying the early music of Take That in The Band, Photo:Matt Crockett

At the very start I have to make a confession on two counts. One, as a man heading rapidly towards his Senior Railcard I’m not really the key demographic for this production and two, I was never a fan of Take That in the 1990s and most (not all) of the songs from that era still sound like background music to me.

But I do consider myself a fan of the reconstituted band whether with Robbie or without. We have all their post-2006 albums and concert DVDs and we’ve been to see them live in Hyde Park, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t have an opinion on this musical.

And the fact is, it’s a real cracker. The actual band formed for the show in the BBC series “Let it Shine,” is absolutely superb. They really get the essence of the real Take That without resorting to lame impressions.

All the numbers are done as five-piece performances – there is no distinguishing between those which where originally done by the five-piece, four-piece, or three-piece versions of Take That.

The Band follows the fans as they grow up to enjoy Take That's later music, Photo: Matt CrockettThe Band follows the fans as they grow up to enjoy Take That's later music, Photo: Matt Crockett

It all works superbly and the music is fantastic. For me “Back for Good” (yes, I know it’s an early-era number) and “Rule the World” stood out – but everything worked superbly.

All juke-box musicals tend to have a story threading through them and this is no exception. And this is where my appreciation of the show probably differs from 95% of the audience.

The focus of the story is a group of teenage fans of Take That from 1993 who get to see their heroes in that year – and then come together again a generation later to fly out to Prague with the aim of seeing them at a stadium concert.

It was quite clear that this was a very, very meaningful story for the vast majority of the audience – it clearly touched a nerve and they absolutely loved it.

I’ve seen a few jukebox musicals in my time – and to me the story was better than most but I really cannot claim it was a spiritual event. It certainly has pathos and shocks and really moved many people at the Regent. To me it was a diverting interlude between the musical numbers.

Overall it’s a great show. Ladies, if the story moves you that’s great – but don’t be afraid to take your husbands or partners, they can have a fantastic time as well. And you don’t need patience to make the evening shine!

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