Gary Barlow7 © Delamere Forest June 9th 2018

Gary Barlow © Melanie Smith
Gary Barlow
Delamere Forest, Cheshire
June 9th 2018

Louder Than War photographer Melanie Smith goes deep into the forest to capture Gary Barlow OBE performing some of his biggest hits on his solo UK summer tour, in his home town of Cheshire.

Gary Barlow has been performing since he was 15 years old. He is renown as the British singer-songwriter-musician with the Manchester pop group Take That. He is also a record producer, musician, X Factor judge, and writes songs for a multitude of artists in addition to scores for musicals. It seems his talent knows no boundaries. Take That won an astonishing eight BRIT awards, they sold over 45 million records and over eight million concert tickets.

Gary Barlow © Melanie SmithGary Barlow performed in front of a sold out exuberant crowd at Delamere Forest just 3 miles from his birth place of Frodsham. Beaming with smiles he walked onto the stage and performed his first song on the piano ‘Since I Saw You Last’, which led into ‘Live Those Years Again’, things started getting more lively when he burst into ‘These Days’. Gary was obviously thrilled to be back on the road again, especially playing here, on Twitter he announced that it was so important to him and reminded him of the times he played in the forest as a child, how far he had come and how his Dad would be so proud of him.

I have to say from the few songs I saw from my position at the mixing desk his show came across as a slick cabaret Sinatra style show, which reminded me a little of the Robbie Swings Both Ways show, minus the flamboyancy, dancing and cheeky charm. However he was definitely a hit with his fans, who were all mixed ages, mostly female gender it has to be said. There is no doubting his professionalism and musical prowess, but  I do prefer him performing with Take That, rather than solo.

Gary Barlow © Delamere Forest June 9th 2018
Gary Barlow © Melanie Smith
Gary Barlow © Melanie Smith
Gary Barlow © Delamere Forest June 9th 2018

Photo gallery:

Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. For any inquires please contact

Gary Barlow news can be found at his website here, Facebook and Twitter.

Forest Live concerts have been operating since 2001, they take place at seven different forest locations across the UK in the summer months. They are an annual British music festival featuring predominantly pop and rock bands and artist. The series of concerts are organised by the Forestry Commission, a British non-ministerial government department.It’s a bonus that artists are helping the forests as all profits go back into looking after the forest sites. Forest Live can be found here

Photos by Melanie Smith. More work by Mel on Louder Than War can be found at her author’s archive. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Photography portfolio can be found here

Previous articleGhost: Prequelle – album review
Next articleLiam Grundy Band: Bulls Head Barnes, London – live review
Live reviews editor and head of photography: I can't imagine my life without music or photography, both go hand in hand and have played a big part in my life. I have experienced many musical genres, northern soul in 1975, the early punk movement, drifting into the electronic 'new Romantic' era, a trip around the rock scene, a taste of indie and a smattering of pop. I possess an eclectic taste in music and a lust for life; new experiences are what drives this machine. I still have that punk DIY spirit and used this to create my own website Mudkiss Fanzine in 2008 - 2013. I am the official photographer for 'Louder Than Words' music literary festival and a house photographer for Academy Music Group. Available for commissioned work, please contact me


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here