Saturday, 26 March 2016

Don't stop me now - tonight, I'm gonna have myself a good time

I'm at The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare, sitting in the stalls and waiting for a tribute band to appear on stage.

I must admit, I'm a tribute act virgin, and I'm a little bit sniffy about it, particularly as it's a pretend Queen - I really don't count myself as much of a fan. Still, the tickets are free and I have been taught by my neighbour Mrs Bancroft to never turn down an invitation.

"Oh, go on, you'll enjoy it," Randy Munchkin said, when I told her I wouldn't be at the pub's steak night that evening.

Even my good friend, Pelly Sheepwash, doesn't turn her nose up at the prospect of seeing a tribute band.

"We saw a Pink Floyd tribute once and they were better than the real band."

A lookalike Roger Taylor drummer takes to the stage and bashes out an introduction. Rocking up next is the bass player (who was Queen's bass player? I've just looked it up. Of course. John Deacon. Does the tribute one look like him? No, more like Marty McFly from Back to the Future) A Brian May figure with lots of long, black, curly hair, looking a little bit like Bill Murray in a wig, strolls on to loud applause. And then the fake Freddie struts in, doing his stuff.

The crowd is already going wild but I'm not so sure. It takes two numbers for the band to warm up and then, bang, they are Queen.  It's uncanny. And they are actually really good musicians.

The more I hear, the more I realise Queen is part of a soundtrack to my life, especially the early tracks from A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera. I remember that Seven Seas of Rhye and Killer Queen as if they were released yesterday. Familiar songs, complex numbers that change tempo and melody partway through, and I am loving it.

Bohemian Rhapsody takes me back to when I was at comprehensive and listening to the pop chart on a Tuesday, dawdling back to school at the end of the lunch break in the winter of 1975. Week after week, that song was at number one.

And at The Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare, I find I am not the only one doing a Wayne's World headbanging thing when the explosive bit kicks in.

Mr Grigg gives me a bit of a glare (he hated Wayne's World, but I loved it) but then he starts high clapping for I Want to Break Free.

The fake Freddie takes to the piano, bouffant Brian does his tricks on the guitar (I'm still not one for all that guitar heroics) and the people are up on their feet.
The Bohemians do an encore featuring We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions and I go home a new-found Queen fan and a lifelong supporter of tribute acts.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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