Take That in Swansea review: A true nostalgia fest that proves they're still the greatest showmen

-Credit: (Image: Jay Stone)
-Credit: (Image: Jay Stone)

When a boyband called Take That burst onto the music scene in the early '90s, fans probably never expected them to still be going strong more than 30 years later, especially after dropping two members - including the mega famous Robbie Williams - and enduring a temporary split along the way.

But while they're now a three-piece in their 50s, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald can still fill out stadiums with the now middle-aged women who were once their teenage fans snapping up tickets as well as appealing to younger crowds.

On Thursday night the trio brought their This Life tour to the Swansea.com stadium - and what an awesome nostalgia fest it was. The band last performed in front of a sell-out 27,000 people at the Swansea venue, then known as Liberty Stadium, in June, 2017. Seven years on, they've proved they've still got it with bells on.

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Fireworks over the stadium during the gig
Fireworks over the stadium during the gig

Having seen the band perform live during their noughties showstopper days when their stadium shows featured giant mechanical elephants and Robbie Williams holograms, I wasn't expecting this gig to be anywhere near as mindblowing. But while this may have been a slightly toned down version we still got fireworks, confetti and high octane routines.

Yep they may be in their 50s but they are still bounding about the stage like the young whipper-snappers they were when they had their first chart-topper with Pray before Justin Bieber was even born.

While the show kicked off with some of their most recent tracks (Keep Your Head Up and Windows) it wasn't long before the fans got what they really wanted - those back catalogue hits like Everything Changes, Sure and Shine.

"It's so good to be back," Gary told the Swansea crowd. "It's seven years since we were here. Who remembers the last time?" The screams testified that plenty of fans did.

The show was a bit like a gig blended with a West End show a la Jersey Boys as the Take That boys (they will always be boys) took us on an autobiographical tour of their music. On came the grand piano and Gary belted out A Million Love Songs, the mega hit he wrote when he was just 15, and then we had all their really early stuff like I Found Heaven and Pray before each of them performed tracks they'd released as solos after the band's break up in the late '90s.

A real nostalgia fest for fans
A real nostalgia fest for fans

But there was no time to dwell as we were then given chance to relive the Take That golden years with all the favourites, including Relight My Fire (never the same without Lulu), Greatest Day and Back For Good.

There was chatter with the crowd as they mused: "The Take That Army is still there. I mean look at this. Thank you for keeping our dream alive."

With rotating staircases, city scape backdrops, colourful lighting and costumes to match, there was enough glitz for us not to care about the missing giant mechanical elephant.

Yes this was a pure nostalgia fest for most of us but Gary, Howard and Mark proved they can still still sing, dance and entertain to their heart's content. And boy did we love it...