Can Gary Barlow form his own supergroup?

Friday: Gary Barlow: I’m with the Band; (BBC1, 10.45pm)

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 5:00 pm
Mica Paris, Gary Barlow, Tom Fletcher, Jamie Cullum and James Bay

Supergroups have a long legacy, from Cream to the Travelling Wilburys and beyond – right up to McBusted.

The idea is that people who have found success as solo artists or as members of another band might each be able to bring something new and different to a project, together creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Now Gary Barlow – who has certainly been successful both on his own and with Take That – wants to form his own supergroup, and he’s not skimping on the big names.

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Here he teams up with Jamie Cullum, James Bay, Mica Paris, Guy Chambers, Tom Fletcher (of McFly and the aforementioned McBusted; so he knows the score when it comes to supergroups), Danya Fisher and Donavan Hepburn.

Between them they have three keyboardists and five lead singers, while bass, drums and lead and rhythm guitar are all well covered too.

The plan is to perform and record a range of classic songs from both past and present.

Along the way they’re joined by Anne-Marie and Craig David who chat and collaborate – just in case five singers weren’t quite enough.

DJ and Producer Nathan Dawe and rapper MoStack also feature, lending their support and expertise.

It seems Barlow is able to draw in people from across the musical spectrum, such is his reputation and the respect he has earned in the industry.

Of the main line-up, Chambers will be an interesting one to watch – the keyboardist is also acting as the band’s musical director.

As co-writer of most of Robbie Williams’ biggest hits, he knows a thing or two about making hits. However if the gossip columns are to be believed, Williams was enmeshed in a bitter feud with Barlow at the time he and Chambers were working on their smash-hit single Angels.

Their differences are now apparently put aside, but it will still be fascinating to see Williams’ closest collaborator working side-by-side with his former nemesis.

For Barlow, though, this project is all about the future, and not looking to the past – except, of course, for song inspiration.

The frontman said of this new show “A key reason for me doing this show for BBC One was that I just wanted to get in a room with a load of people I love and respect and play music. We’re aiming to give artists a platform and place where they can perform and have fun.

“It’s simply a musical treat for everyone who loves watching the best musicians performing great songs from any genre and any decade”.

Owen Courtney, the Commissioning Executive of BBC Music TV, adds “I’m delighted that Gary Barlow has brought such a wonderful collection of talented artists together for this BBC One show and that the BBC can continue to bring musical performances such as this to audiences, at a time when live shows are on hold. I know it will be a very special evening”.

And us lucky viewers will have a front row seat!

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