Saturday, 20 September 2014

Curve. The Magic of Queen by Rhapsody

To a packed audience at Curve, the Queen tribute band, Rhapsody, demonstrated that in the business of Rock and Roll tribute bands they are indeed – the business! They rock this venue brilliantly with their two hour show – The Magic of Queen.

The group have a new performer as Freddie Mercury in the charismatic form of Yvan Silva and he gets the camp, the swagger, the posing, the mood and the showman cheek of Freddie absolutely spot on. As for the athletic voice – wow! He has the eager audience begging for more after each song and their two sets generously allow the audience to join in with some of Queen's famous songs.

Considering that most of the audience are in their fifties or sixties, with even an old dear waving her arms about joyfully in unbridled octogenarian joy, almost everyone are up on their feet clapping and dancing for all they are worth. They don't need telling twice. The Queen hits come thick and fast and are performed and played to perfection. Among the highlights of the evening are 'Bicycle Race' 'Fat Bottomed Girls' 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' 'Flash's Theme' 'I Want To Break Free' a beautifully sung 'Is This The World We Created' 'Killer Queen' 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' 'Hammer To Fall' Mercury and Bowie's 1981 hit 'Under Pressure' and the gentle 'Love Of My Life'

There is a terrifically accomplished guitar solo from Jonny Sennett (lead and acoustic guitar and vocals) as Brian May and energetic and skilled drumming and percussion from Paul Lennox as Roger Taylor. As fifth Queen member, later in the group's original history, we have the keyboard and synth talents of Jason Mercer as Spike Edney. Matt Sparkes superbly plays the John Deacon role on bass guitar. All the young musicians are professional music graduates and are passionate about bringing Queen's magic to the stage. Rather than a steady stream of songs both musical sets have an organic feel to them which adds to the excitement of the rock entertainment.

The show has some great lighting to enhance the songs and visually Rhapsody look great with costumes to match those of the original band.

It is rare that the huge 1975 hit song 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is played in full by a tribute band but Rhapsody stun the audience with a fantastic live (no backing tracks) rendition of the full thing with great harmonies. Throughout this highly energetic show Yvan Silva as Mercury impresses the audience with his brilliant vocals and portrayal. Just when we think the show is coming to a close we get a new performer on the stage.

This is Amy Fuller. Amy is a former graduate of the Royal College of Music in Cardiff and totally wows the audience as she joins Yvan in singing the operatic song 'Barcelona!'. The notions of 'Who Wants To Live Forever?' and 'The Show Must Go On' are at the fore front of each and every onlooker tonight as they relive their youth and revel in the showmanship. Nobody wants to leave. Rhapsody totally nails the music, the style and raw energy of the original Queen and there are no proverbial grumpy fathers shouting upstairs to “turn that racket down!” A perfect evening's entertainment.

Photos by kind permission of  David Clarke

Original review posted on 19th September 2014

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