The time has come to discuss Robbie Williams. Last week I went to see Progress live which I was very much looking forward to. In fact, I told you all about my love for Take That back in February. We managed our expectation well for Progress knowing that nothing could surpass the epic Circus tour of 2009. It was a good thing we did as although technically Progress was amazing and the boys sounded fine, danced a dream and my plans to be Mrs Orange one day were not dampened, it simply didn't have much of a heart.
I have pondered quite a bit on why this might be. Much of it was down to the drunken, obnoxious crowd (look, I love Back for Good as much as the next girl but a 17 year old couple singing it to each other next to me while stroking hair takes it too far). The general smell of vomit round us didn't help matters either. However, it was more than that and I have to conclude the problem was Robbie.
Back in the 90s Robbie was without a doubt the other talented one in Take That. And he had all the charisma poor Gary was lacking. He was funny, sparky, naughty and cute. We liked him. Then he discovered the Gallaghers, dyed his hair blonde (truly a disaster) and the band kicked him out. We all suffered the bows and arrows of 10 years that some good therapy and a nice cup of tea could have sorted out in a week or two. Robbie did Angels and Mark Owen ended up on Celebrity Big Brother.
I was as happy as the next fan when they made amends and welcomed Robbie back to the fold. I enjoyed The Flood. I almost wept with joy when Robbie sang his not invincible line on Never Forget and all seemed well. However, the tour was really a show of three parts and each one felt a bit rushed. They opened with Rule the World. I don't know who did the playlist but that is not an opening song. By contrast, Robbie opened with Let Me Entertain You while jumping onto the stage from 200 feet. I felt resentful. How dare he steal their thunder?! It was a great opener but I didn't pay to see the Robbie Williams show, I paid to see Take That. The four of them without him rushed through their songs to get to him. Then they left. Robbie swore, played with his arse and glared into the camera rather disturbingly. Then they came on as a fivesome and it should have settled down but somehow, it didn't. There was some magic - Back For Good was lovely and Never Forget was spine-tingly. But all in all, it just seemed weird and I think it's because Robbie has been away for too long, he doesn't gel with the others anymore. He was always quite a selfish performer and I don't think he really knows how to share the stage with them. My final gripe is he didn't actually sing Angels, he made us sing it. That really annoyed me - I don't want to hear 80,000 drunken fans sing Angels, I want to hear Robbie Williams sing it.
My advice to Robbie is get back into therapy and allow us to see you without all the posturing. Because when we saw glimpses of that, it was touching. He has a wonderful live voice, Feel was really excellent. Oh, and make amends with Guy Chambers next mate. And stay off the lobster eh? Food poisoning is no fun.
My advice to the other four is stop worshipping Robbie. Especially you Mark. You don't need him and it's been interesting but we'd like to see the four of you again. And I never thought I'd say that. You know what would have been nice? If you'd all sung all the songs together - the five of you. I'd have liked to have heard Robbie on Rule The World and the others on Angels.
Really, I don't understand why I am not a band manager. Let's listen to Greatest Day anyway.