Gary Barlow set to shine at Thetford Forest gig
- Credit: Jamie Lucas Photography
A year ago pop superstars Take That wowed fans at Norwich's Carrow Road, and this Friday Gary Barlow is back without his bandmates to perform a more intimate gig at Thetford Forest. Arts correspondent Emma Knights reports.
This time last year Norwich's Carrow Road was being transformed into Take That's colourful world of Wonderland as the pop superstars made their first-ever trip to Norwich.
Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald's tour stopped off for a two-day residency at the Canaries' home ground on June 15 and 16 2017 where they entertained nearly 60,000 fans with a show-stopping spectacle featuring classic Take That hits from Rule the World to Pray mixed in with new tracks from their latest Wonderland album.
And everything from a magical aerial carousel to a stunning waterfall sequence and fireworks ensured both nights were epic performances fans would never forget.
'Brilliant night, brilliant crowd! Thank you Norwich,' tweeted Gary after the first night before bidding farewell after night two with the words '2 amazing nights in Norwich! Can't thank you enough #wonderlandlive.'
And now, 12 months on, Gary Barlow is back out on the open road and bringing his new solo show to East Anglia.
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This time around it will be a more stripped-back and intimate affair, and Thetford Forest will be his stage as Gary heads to the region as part of his 2018 tour which kicked off in Edinburgh in April.
And while he will be minus bandmates Mark Owen and Howard Donald when he rocks up at Thetford, Gary will still be treating fans to plenty of Take That tunes and a lot more besides in this sold-out show.
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Expected to open with with solo number Since I Saw You Last and finish with Take That anthem Never Forget, Gary's 27-song setlist looks set to take his 9,000-strong audience on a musical mystery tour of his three decades in pop with a sprinkling of musical theatre for good measure.
Back For Good, Greatest Day, Relight My Fire, A Million Love Songs and many more TT songs feature in the line-up along with the newly-penned Live Those Years Again, a reflection on the Take That story from the early days through to the 1996 break-up to today.
'Does anyone recall the day that we first met? The year was 1991,' opens the track before running through the rollercoaster that followed for the Manchester band that has to date achieved eight studio albums, 12 UK number ones, eight BRIT awards and more than 45 million record sales, not to mention co-producing the record-breaking musical The Band that took to the Norwich Theatre Royal stage earlier this year.
And of course Gary's current tour also puts the spotlight on his songs as a solo artist, with the star set to sing songs including Forever Love and the title track from his debut solo album Open Road which is this year celebrating its 21st anniversary with a special edition re-release.
The hit musicals also get a mention, with some of Gary's music from Finding Neverland and Calendar Girls making an appearance alongside Sing, the song he co-wrote with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the Queen's diamond jubilee year in 2012 and which at the time was performed by artists from across the Commonwealth as part of the official celebrations.
Together this brilliant mix of music from the man who has penned 14 number ones and won six Ivor Novello Awards shows just how much of a superstar he is both with and without Take That.
And those heading to Thetford Forest tomorrow night look set for a night that could quite possibly be magic.
• Gary Barlow's sold-out show at Thetford Forest is on Friday.
Running times: arena opens 6pm; support act Jason Brock 7.25pm-7.55pm; Gary Barlow 8.30pm-10.30pm.
• The final date of Gary Barlow's solo tour is June 23 at Sherwood Pines Forest, Nottinghamshire - visit www.garybarlow.com
• For more stories looking back at Take That's Wonderland tour in Norwich click here