Belfast Telegraph

Private show for 80 Take That fans

Take That have treated a handful of fans to a private performance as they launched their first album for four years, and their first as a trio.

The group played an acoustic show to just 80 fans at the Dover Street Arts Club in central London, their most intimate performance for years.

Take That were celebrating the launch of latest release III with a short show which included their current chart-topping single These Days as well as tracks from their back catalogue, including Back For Good and Shine.

Fans also flocked to a signing session at HMV in London's Oxford Street, where they queued around the block to have a chance to see their idols, satisfied they still had what it takes despite losing long-time member Jason Orange prior to the recording of their new release.

After Robbie Williams also opted out of appearing on this album after a brief return, it leaves just Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald to keep the torch burning.

The line-up change did not dampen the enthusiasm of admirers who turned up to the music store, with Kim Rogerson, 43, from Surrey, declaring: "Their new album sounds better than their last.

"They've still got a lot of time for their fans and that's what I love about them to be honest.

"My favourite has always been Gary - I was a member of his fan club back in the day."

Primary school teacher Katie Reeves, 32, from Leicester, who introduced her younger sister, student Hannah Pigott, 19, to the band, said: "We've been to see Mark on his own, Gary on his own, so we like all of them.

"I was 13 when I first went to see them. I've kind of brainwashed her into liking Take That.

"Their latest track is quite dancey so they've been quite clever in moving with how the music is going at the time."

But Dannii Harwood, 32, who had come from Bournemouth to see the band, still misses Williams, her favourite member.

"Robbie was the hottest one, so I miss Robbie a little bit," she said.

"Their new song shows that they've still got it though with just three of them."

She was hoping that remaining band member Donald might sign her breasts.

Her friend Natalie Adams, 27, from south London, has been a fan since she was three.

"I like them the same - but Mark's my favourite, so as long as he's still there that's fine.

"Their new song is really different, but I like it."

These Days is Take That's 12th number one single and their first chart-topper in six years after 2008's Greatest Day.

Their small gig today was organised by Google Play to celebrate the group's deal to allow the online service to have the sole streaming rights over the next month.

Barlow said he expected the group to return as a quintet at some point. He told today's Sun: "Take That is five people. Exactly when they come back is up to them."

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