General News

Gary Barlow recalls pride and fear at military show

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Nov 19, 2013 | 5:28am EST

Singer Gary Barlow has opened up about performing for troops in Afghanistan last month (Oct13), admitting he was "terrified" as he jetted in and out of the warzone. The Take That star played two morale-boosting shows at military base Camp Bastion after the first was cut short just two songs into his set when an alarm was raised. He returned from the warzone unscathed and full of pride for the British soldiers he met during his visit, but Barlow's nerves almost got the better of him when he was surrounded by armed troops on the escort in and out. The pop star, who invited several soldiers to join him on stage for the gigs, tells British magazine Event, "My heart was racing, palms sweating. It was insane. You sit in full body armour, strapped in to the sides of this huge aircraft. Everyone has a rifle. Even when I was on stage, every single guy up there with me had a rifle strapped to his belt. It is just totally surreal... It was probably the most emotional concert I've ever performed - despite the fact that every single person around me had a gun." Detailing his journey out to Afghanistan from the U.K.'s Brize Norton military airport, he adds, "You look around at these guys - some of them are going back out there, some of them are going out for the first time, and some of them are so young they just look like little babies going into war. "Getting on that plane at Brize Norton was terrifying. You fly at night so everything is pitch black, and it was freezing cold. You see these kids around you looking scared to death, and then the older guys are just incredibly calm, incredibly assured." Barlow's trip will be broadcast on U.K. TV later this year (13).

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