A night of rhapsody
REVIEW: One Night of Queen Performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, Theatre Royal.
Anyone who was around in the 70s and 80s and loved the band Queen could be forgiven for thinking they had gone back in time last night. We were picked up and rocked along by Gary Mullen, a consummate performer and a man with enough grit and talent to take on singing Freddie Mercury, as only he could sound.
Mullen and The Works rocked off a slick and entertaining show with familiar Queen songs like A Kind of Magic and Somebody to Love. Mullen was in there with us from the start, with a great audience rapport, and quick-witted retorts; we lapped it up. His power-packed energetic performance held our attention as he strutted about the stage, using the microphone as both air guitar and an aid for flaunting himself. The white singlet soon came off; perspiration flew off in all directions as we all went with him up to those famous Freddie Mercury high notes.
By the second half, Mullen had everyone in the ageing audience up on their feet, dancing, clapping, singing and rocking with their glow sticks. It was a shame the entire downstairs had fixed seating as I think this audience would have rocked even harder had there been a proper dance floor.
We were all moved by Mullen's beautiful rendition of Love of my Life accompanied only by lead guitarist Davie Brockett on 12-string guitar. Then of course it had to happen - Bohemian Rhapsody swept us all away, and where Mullen couldn't quite match those incredibly high falsetto notes that were Mercury's hallmark, we still loved what he created for us.
It wasn't all about Mullen, as the backing band were fabulously talented musicians, belting out a funky base beat, with strong guitar work and thumping drums, plus keyboard. They cleverly wove in solo performances like drummer Jonathan Evans filling out their version of Keep Yourself Alive by doing his thing and doing it well.
It takes guts and a lot of talent to take on a band the calibre of Queen, and these guys did it with an amazing show. No-one could ever replace Freddie Mercury, but we were given a damn fine rendition of his music last night, a great performance indeed.
- © Fairfax NZ News