Music review: Take That, Hydro, Glasgow

With water features, flaming staircases and cameras like tanks, this was a money-no-object romp through the Take That back catalogue, writes Fiona Shepherd

Take That. Hydro, Glasgow ****

Take That show is always a night to remember, and never more so than for local singer/songwriter Daniel Rooney, whisked by compere Ross King from his Friday night gig in a neighbouring hotel bar to fill in for absent special guest Olly Murs, stuck somewhere in airport limbo. Rooney rattled through a competent covers set, King took his cut of the attention, the audience were suitably warmed up and a great war story was bagged.

The simplicity and spontaneity of his set was in direct contrast to the sophisticated choreography of Take That’s This Life tour, conceived largely as a retro stylish and gleefully cheesy TV broadcast with acid bright colours and cameras like tanks ready to capture Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald in close-up as they revisited the joy of their initial run of nineties hits such as the smooth funk pop of Sure, old school ballad A Million Love Songs and Pray, complete with its comically fussy original dance routine.

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Take That PIC: Calum BuchanTake That PIC: Calum Buchan
Take That PIC: Calum Buchan

This was a smart way to navigate their boy band roots, now that the members are all in their fifties. Almost 20 years into their comeback, there were many more beloved tracks to add to the mix from their mature years. Time will tell if current album This Life will be similarly embraced but the tight uplifting harmonies of Windows billowed beautifully among a slick production of moving parts, moody tableaux and elemental themes.

There were water features for Shine, a flaming staircase for Relight My Fire and their usual foray to a smaller stage for a glitzy space invader disco interlude before the band returned as three pearlescent kings for their top bankable classics, the soaring bleeding heart ballad Back For Good, the anthemic Never Forget and a stellar Rule the World.