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REVIEW: Gary Barlow @ Brighton Centre, 14/05/2018

The Verse’s Lottie Wilson tells us what she thought of Gary Barlow’s gig at Brighton Centre on 14th May 2018.

Sequins adorned West Street on the 14th May as hundreds of women walked to The Brighton Centre. Gary Barlow was in town.

Barlow shot to worldwide fame in 1990 with his band Take That. The band have continually toured in arenas and stadiums across the world. However, throughout Barlow’s’ career he has also toured solo. 2018 welcomes his ‘Theatre Tour’ where he visits 24 intimate venues across the UK.

I was unsure what to expect from an ‘intimate’ gig at The Brighton Centre; as the venue is notorious for large-scale events. With the crowds of women, it seemed unlikely that the gig would be as private as promised but I was certainly wrong. Being the building partitioned, the stage and stalls were in close proximity allowing the event to feel particularly cosy. Moreover, the low hum of excitement and legion of handmade fan posters in the air, I was keen to see how Barlow would perform on this low key tour.

The evening started with KT Tunstall as support. The Scottish singer-songwriter won a BRIT award for British Female Solo Artist and has been making music steadily ever since. On the 14th of May, she performed a medley of covers and originals to warm up the crowd. Whilst some of her latest music was less known, her chart-topper ‘Suddenly I See’ had the whole crowd singing and dancing.

On to the main event. The welcoming cheer was for Barlow and his band was deafening. There were surely some superfans in the house. After a friendly greeting, Barlow treated his audience to his own singles and that of the band. The evening served as an acoustic journey of his career, with his own narration offering anecdotes here and there. A highlight of the night was a tongue-in-cheek song exclusively created to tell the tale of his career. However, my personal favourite moment was his performance of The Greatest Day and judging from the crying in the audience it was certainly a popular choice.

The singer made an active effort to engage the audience and this intimate setting certainly suited his character. Barlow appeared at ease as he danced with the band and made jokes with the audience. At one point he even serenaded one lucky fan on stage.

It is certainly true that Gary Barlow has a very set fan base – I at 22 seemed to be the youngest fan in attendance – however, he sure knows how to please an audience.

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