The rafters would be shaking, peoples’ feet would be tapping and everybody was gearing up to have a good time.
As a lifelong Queen fan, writer Nigel got the gig of heading to The New Theatre Oxford, for the performance of this ace tribute band Mercury, with the words
‘It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!’.
The front row seat beckoned and as the curtain rose, so many joys to see. The speakers as large as cupboards (this is going to be loud), guitars waiting to be
plucked, keyboard keys waiting to be tickled and drums waiting to be hit (hard), the stage was well and truly set.
The opening bars of two famous songs burst forth from the giant speakers, accompanied by around 100 coloured lights flashing in sequence with the beat, this WAS going to be loud!
The band members inched on stage with a cheer for every one of the four as they started playing, when out ran Justin Lee Jackson as the enigmatic frontman Freddie Mercury.
We were taken on a rock filled rollercoaster ride through the decades and that was within the first few songs! Seven Seas of Rhye, Killer Queen and You’re My Best Friend from the 70’s followed by Play The Game, Another One Bites
The Dust and Hammer To Fall, from the 80’s. Then JLJ donned the wig and hoover from the video of I Want To Break Free. The first half ending with the two time number one and rock crescendo of pure silk, with six minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody.
The second half opened in continued rock fashion, with a number 3 hit from 1989, I Want It All and A Kind of Magic, but the time machine jerked again with those Fat Bottomed Girls in their Bicycle Race.
A tear then entered my eye as The Days of Our Lives was played. This was my Fathers favourite song. I lost him a few years ago a few months after seeing Mercury, but as the next song showed, The Show Must Go On, I was soon headbanging again and I’m sure that my Father would have approved.
The show ‘finished’ with the fist pumping, arms in the air chorus of Radio Ga Ga. JLJ said ‘Goodnight’ and the band left the stage…
Calls of ‘more, more, more’ and ‘Freddie, Freddie, Freddie’ rang out from the stalls, circle and balcony and JLJ and Mercury duly obliged with the usual guitar finale of We Will Rock You, Friends Will Be Friends and We Are The
JLJ entering the stage, first draped in the Union Jack flag, then right at the end, the crown and cloak of royalty to officially finish the energetic show.
Head aching, knees and legs numb from dancing, two and a half hours had gone in a ‘Flash’ and for a price of £20 fantastic value for money if Queen are your bag. If they are, I highly recommend that if Mercury come to your neck of the woods, put a score down and go and see them for a rip roaring, rocking night out!
Be warned dancing is optional… but you just can’t help yourself!