Robbie Williams thanks fans for twelfth No.1 album with intimate Hackney church gig

Robbie Williams performed in a Hackney church on Wednesday night. Pic: Marjolein Nan

Robbie Williams played a one-off gig on Wednesday night at St-John-at-Hackney Church, to celebrate the success of his latest studio album The Heavy Entertainment Show.

Tickets for the concert – priced at £125 – had gone on sale a week before the event and were completely sold out.

The former Take That member announced the intimate concert was an act of gratitude for his fans who responded favourably to his album.

The Heavy Entertainment Show, which was released in November, is Robbie’s twelfth UK number 1 album. He now holds as many number 1 albums as Madonna and The Rolling Stones.

Fans were in raptures afterwards about the event, where Williams took song requests from fans and there was much praise on social media.

Marjolein Nan, 25, a video producer travelled  from Amsterdam  to London: “It was magical! There were lots of die-hard Robbie fans. He knows all of our faces and he was very happy to see us at the front. It was so special to see him in such a tiny venue. One song in particular, David’s Song, was really emotional because it was about his manager who passed away last summer.”

Nan has seen Williams live around 40 times in the last 10 years. She describes him as extremely “down to earth in real life.”  He knows the names of his biggest fans – and takes the time to chat with them on his website chat-room.

Paul and Julie from Devon, a couple in their fifties, were thrilled.

“It was awesome, fantastic, absolutely brilliant, the best one we’ve ever seen,” said Julie. “It was different from the other shows because being so close you have like a personal feeling. You feel you are more there with him and he is more there with you too.

“Robbie was chatting much more compared to the other shows we’ve been to. He was very laid back and more involved with a smaller crowd.”

Paul added: “This was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.”

Some fans had complained about the price of tickets, but others said the money was worth it considering the costs of seeing a concert at big arenas, where they would have been much farther from the stage.

St John at Hackney is a 200-year-old church in Clapton. It is both the seat of the Hackney Parish and one of the most unusual music spaces in London.

The 18th century building has hosted small gigs from artists such as Coldplay, Florence and the Machine,  Ed Sheeran and Emili Sandé.

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