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Brave Gary proves he’s real trouper


So dignified: Gary Barlow on stage after baby tragedy

So dignified: Gary Barlow on stage after baby tragedy

Jeff J Mitchell

So dignified: Gary Barlow on stage after baby tragedy

In the end it was a reminder of the power and the poignancy of music, of how it can touch our imaginations in the most unexpected of ways.

Gary Barlow's singing of Rule The World only days after the stillbirth of his and wife Dawn’s little girl Poppy was a moment of raw emotion.

Of course, it took great courage for Barlow to perform at all.

That he dominated the stage with his sheer professionalism was a tribute to his talent. And dignity.

Take That’s turn was a rare few minutes of transcendence in a closing show that resolutely refused to lift off the ground.

Yes, Freddie via hologram was brilliant but it was a tedious enough old sit-through to that point.

From Madness’s melancholic and out of whack Our House through to George Michael blowing goodwill by performing a song which no one had heard before and — please no! — Annie Lennox's long forgotten 1993 hit, Little Bird, it was all a bit of a letdown.

Good to hear Running Up That Hill get another outing but the frustrating non-appearance of Kate Bush — and Bowie — just added to the disappointment. And let’s not even think about the Spice Girls (accompanied by a shot of David Cameron ‘dancing’).

Only Eric Idle provided some relief from the tedium.

Well, that is, until Mr Barlow and his demonstration that music isn't just about the banalities of shifting units of product, ‘partying' or ‘havin' a good time ...’

Belfast Telegraph