Ever heard of Take That? They’re pretty big here in my part of the world. I was standing in House of Fraser just the other day in the midst of purchasing a dress, and three of their songs came on in quick succession. Clearly, a Take That fan/member of staff had chosen that days selection of music, but it inspired me to talk about some of the names associated with the band.
Take That were originally a five piece consisting of : Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams; and they have been around since before me, they released their first album, Take That and Party, in 1991. Robbie Williams left the five-piece in 1995, and the band went on to disband the year my sister was born: 1996. That isn’t, however, the end of the story. After Take That reunited (sans Robbie Williams) in 2005 for their greatest hits album, they decided to have another crack at being a four-piece; success was almost immediate – I remember watching them on the Paul O’Grady Show not long after the announcement. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength; Robbie Williams rejoined the band in 2010 to record and release their 6th studio album, Progress, which became the fastest selling album of the century, and second fastest of all-time in the UK.
But now, the names. Here are 4 names from the world of Take That which I rather took a fancy to writing about:
The surname of Gary, one of the members of Take That. Last year Gary Barlow became a judge on The X Factor UK, replacing Simon Cowell and he also wrote the official Children in Need single, Teardrop. Needless to say, he’s a prominent face in the British music scene – I remember watching a Frank Skinner interview years ago with two of the Busted members and Frank accused one of them, jokingly, of becoming a Gary Barlow, i.e. a prolific songwriter. The name Barlow means barley hill, clearing.
Member Mark Owen welcomed a son named Elwood in 2006, and his sister Willow in 2008. He also happens to be one of the three member of Take That who are welcoming children this year; the other two being Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams. Since that means both of his children have names with the letter w, o and l, I’ve had my thinking-cap on with potential names for the third; Llewellyn? Lowell? Oswald? (If they chose Oswald, my heart will sing) Fleur? (giver that both Elwood and Willow are nature names, and I don’t think they’d go for Flower) – I think I’m going to have a longer think about this conundrum. Speaking of Mark Owen, I have a friend who seems to find it rather amusing that he tends to stand in the middle, highlighting the fact that he’s at least a head shorter than everyone else in the band – personally I don’t have any particular qualms abou this, since I’m not exactly vertically gifted either. As for the name Elwood, it’s a surname, meaning elder tree forest.
You may think that the name Howard Donald sounds awfully clunky, but It’s the name of one of the members, and the key voice in their uplifting ballad Never Forget. Personally, I always mix him up with fellow member Jason Orange. I think the name Howard is at least deserving of dapper-lad classification, alongside Claude and Winston, hey, are you listening Billie Piper? For those who don’t know, she recently gave birth to a second son, but I’ve yet to see a name announced for the brother who joins Winston.
When the band came back as a four-piece in 2006, their comeback single was entitled Patience. Some joked that the video for the song was just Gary Barlow singing, with the other three competing to see who could look the most like a 1970s Doctor Who. With the name Grace inside the Top 10, is Patience really that far-out of a suggestion? I actually know a lovely girl named Patience whose just gone off to University to study chemistry. The thing is, some people say, what is she’s really impatient? First off, aren’t all young children impatient anyway? And my littlest sister is friends with a girl named Grace who really isn’t graceful at all, and this is according to my Grandmother who went to pick them up from dance class. You can’t predict the personality of your child, but you might as well hope for the best – that’s always been my golden rule when it comes to virtue names.