What is it about Gary Barlow? We’re now supposed to take him seriously as an artist, yet I can’t help but remember him in a photo shoot from the early days of Take That, naked except for a sock on his genitals. Still, there are two tracks from his songbook which are guaranteed to solicit my tears and which tell me the man has suffered the agony of bereavement (and the impatience of those surrounding him for him to ‘recover’).
The first, ‘Rule The World’, was played at M’s funeral – to much teeth-gnashing from M’s muso friends – and is so resonant for me that I can’t feature it on this blog. It was in the charts when He fell ill in 2008. He would hear it on the radio in the dead of the night in his cell-like room in the bowels of the hospital and cry. He was never self-pitying, even when He had good reason to be, but there is something in this song which floored Him.
‘Patience’ is the track I have been playing lately though – there is nothing profound or especially clever in the lyric, yet it encapsulates much of what I feel as if I want to say to my Mother and others who just want me to be ‘OK’ again. I have bored several of my recent house guests with it, insisting on ‘Silence for Patience!’ like some kind of Barlow propagandist. Check it out (if you can bear to look at Mark Owen’s hair in the video).