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"We danced the night away": Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest review

PUBLISHED: 10:34 09 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 10 June 2018

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

EMMA KNIGHTS

If, like me you are one of the many fans who descended on Thetford Forest to relive the amazing atmosphere and excitement of Take That's visit to Carrow Road last year, you weren't disappointed.

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTSGary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

Gary Barlow is undoubtedly one of the hardest working men in pop music. Over last 20 years, he has perfected his skills as a master crowd pleaser. Headlining the intimate and beautiful setting of High lodge in the heart of Thetford Forest as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert series, the showman took 9000 fans on a journey through the band’s history right up 2018 with much loved hits like Greatest Day and Back For Good.

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

MORE: The Script review: A top class performance that pays testament to their years of experience

If he was ever unsure about the reception he would get deep in a forest on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, he would not have been disappointed by the cheers that greeted him on stage. As a veteran of many Take That concerts I was yet to see how Gary holds his own on stage but dad dancing aside, he produces a spine tingling show, mixing Take That classics with songs from his musicals and solo albums.

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Unlike last year’s extravaganza at Carrow Road this was more about the music, with the simple stage and beautiful lighting, mixing great music from a 10 piece brass section and a Jazz band who help to make, Do What You Like, Sure, Everything Changes But You and Could It Be Magic a hip swinging, finger clicking mash up. Then Gary on his piano tinkering A Million Love Songs to a lucky audience member, Becky from the Isle of Wight, who used the opportunity to sit on his knee whilst he serenaded her.

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

As darkness fell mobile phones lit the night sky as friends sang along to Patience and then jumped along to Fly High and Relight My Fire which relit the forest canopy, the encore kept us wanting more with the finale of Never Forget echoing through the trees.

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Two hours flew by as I relived the last three decades of musical memories. Along with several thousand other friends we laughed, cried and danced the night away. As the sun set on a very special night, once more Norfolk and Suffolk had shown Mr Barlow that he is welcome back anytime.

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTSGary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTSGary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTSGary Barlow performing live at Forest Live in Thetford. Picture: EMMA KNIGHTS

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

Gary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWERGary Barlow at Thetford Forest Live. Picture: LEE BLANCHFLOWER

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