Take that, groupies!

Dear Auntie, As a music-obsessed greenie, the recent spate of bands reforming after years of obscurity has got me in a fix. The desire to get back in the saddle and start trailing my favourite band on tour across the globe is becoming stronger with every second that Take That! spend creating their new album. How do I reconcile my desire to be a transnational groupie to early-1990s has-beens with my environmental obligations? Is there any way of obsessively trailing my idols without resorting to multiple short-haul flights? Martha Owen, Chester
December 2006

Dear Martha,

Musically, you may be beyond redemption, but there are ways to solve your environmental problem. Rather than cityhopping by plane, try travel website The Man in Seat Sixty-One for suggestions about how to wend your way between gigs by land and sea.

Trains and boats are ideal for someone of your musical inclination, with excellent scope for singalongs and improvised musical numbers. You can karaoke your way through a million love songs by the time you hit Calais.

However, even if you refrain from emission-heavy modes of transport, your idols will not. I can't see Gary Barlow and company crooning 'Could it be Magic' from the backseat of a Megabus, or breaking into an impromptu chorus of 'Everything Changes' while stranded on the platform at Crewe station.

No, no. It's going to be short-haul central for those boys. They might try to greenwash their reputation by planting a tree for every gig - but an entire grove of Jason Orange saplings is unlikely to save the world, or do much for bio-diversity.

You're better off starting a campaign to encourage the band back into retirement.

Once they're back for good in Cheshire, you'll be free to indulge your inexplicable obsession while sticking to your environmental convictions.

Take that and party






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