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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 14:46 GMT
Take That shine at UK tour debut
Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That
The band announced their New Year's Eve concert earlier this week
Reformed boy band Take That have begun the British leg of their European tour by playing at the NEC in Birmingham.

"It's good to be back on home soil," said singer Mark Owen as the group performed in front of 14,000 fans.

Howard Donald danced energetically on stage following his recovery from the chest injury that forced him to pull out of a performance in Vienna.

Tickets for Take That's New Year's Eve concert at the O2 arena in London are now on sale.

Thursday's concert in Birmingham was the four-man band's first performance on stage in mainland Britain since their appearance at the Concert for Diana in July.

The band began their tour in Belfast last month before moving onto continental Europe.

Referring to his recent injury, Donald told the NEC audience he was "going to partake in the dancing".

'Brilliant'

"I'm going to see how it holds out," he said. "The doctor said it should be OK."

He and his fellow band members set fire to parts of their costumes as they sang Relight My Fire, while the evening ended with a rendition of recent hit Shine and an encore of Pray.

Audience member David Percival, 22, described the concert as "brilliant".

"I've loved Take That all my life," he told the BBC's Natalie Jamieson.

Nineteen-year-old Jessica Noble, meanwhile, said Gary Barlow was "so much fitter in the flesh".

Distressing

Take That play four more nights in Birmingham before moving on to Glasgow, Newcastle, London and Manchester.

Some fans in the Midlands, however, have received news that the tickets they ordered are not available.

Forty-five customers who purchased their tickets for next Monday's concert at the NEC through independent agent Global Events Direct have yet to receive them.

The company said it had been let down by its own supplier and had offered most of those affected tickets to alternative dates.

Anyone without tickets would be offered refunds, a company spokesman told BBC Radio WM.

SEE ALSO
Hurt Take That star 'recovering'
30 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Take That singer injured on tour
27 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Ticket frenzy for Take That tour
02 Mar 07 |  Entertainment

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