POP fans are set to have the Greatest Day this New Year’s Eve, with the announcement of a show by one of the biggest names in music – Gary Barlow.
The Take That star is proving he is Back for Good, by embarking on his first solo tour for 13 years – and will be calling in at Oxford on the last day of the year.
Tickets for the show at the New Theatre go on sale this Friday. But they are expected to sell out within minutes.
The tour follows two solo shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London last year and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert, which he organised at Buckingham Palace in the summer, and which featured the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Kylie Minogue and his Take That bandmate Robbie Williams.
Mr Barlow, 41, a judge on ITV’s X Factor, said: “I’m really excited about these dates. “Playing live is my favourite thing and I haven’t played a solo show for over a year now.
“Last year playing two London shows was brilliant.
“We all had such a good time, so I thought, right let’s get out and see the rest of the country.”
Over the course of 20 years in the music industry, the Take That frontman has sold more than 50 million records and has had eight Number One albums and 14 Number One singles, making him one of Britain’s most successful singer-songwriters.
He has also sold seven million concert tickets and been awarded six Ivor Novello Awards and an OBE for his contribution to British music and charity.
Fans will be treated to a mixture of his solo songs and tunes written as part of Take That alongside Robbie Williams, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Mark Owen.
A spokesman for the singer said: “Gary will be performing songs spanning the entirety of his incredible music career.”
The New Theatre’s chief executive Elizabeth Adlington said: “We are delighted that Gary has chosen to celebrate New Year’s Eve with us at the New Theatre. I’m sure it will be an experience Oxford will never forget.”
The tour will also see the Mancunian singer playing two hometown shows.
Oxfordshire fans reacted with delight to the announcement. Julia Atkinson, 42, from Summertown, said: “This is so exciting. I heard a rumour that he was coming but didn’t know whether to believe it.
“It is brilliant that he’s leaving London and coming out to see his local fans – particularly those hard-core fans who have been around since the early days of Take That, but who can’t get babysitters to allow them to go to London to see him there.”
Admirer Linda Williams, 42, from Wolvercote, said: “After being a fan for 20 years it’s great to finally have a date with Gary right here in Oxford.”
Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday. Go to gigsandtours.com (0844 811 0051), ticketmaster.co.uk (0844 826 2826) or from the theatre box office at atgtickets.com/ oxford. There will be no over-the- counter sales at the venue.