The Music Of Queen: A Rock & Symphonic Spectacular performed at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Friday 6th May 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The stage at The Royal Concert Hall positively groaned last night as over 70 performers took to it to showcase The Music Of Queen: A Rock & Symphonic Spectacular. No matter how you have come to know the music of Queen, you know that it involves something legendary and special, and it was that something special that the City Of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and a five piece rock band brought to this packed audience.

The whole show has been brought together by seasoned arranger, Richard Sidwell, who has done fine work here allowing the orchestra to weave seamlessly in and out of the rock chords. The vocalists also did an excellent job, expectedly so as they have come straight from performing in the stage show, We Will Rock You.

To say that the show consisted of all of Queen’s hits is an understatement, and the first half brought notable favourites. There was I Want To Break Free, Under Pressure whilst Radio Ga Ga produced a mass singalong.

Vocalist Julie Stark’s interpretation of the rock style was bold, but with the string section being given its time to shine, her vocals on Love Of My Life were simply mesmerising. There was the very moving These Are The Days Of Our Lives, whilst the brass section had great fun with the introduction of Fat Bottom Girls.

The interval brought a very impressive version of Somebody To Love, in which Rachael Wooding was really able to show off her vocal range, whilst Oliver Tompsett did justice to the incredibly difficult The Show Must Go On, showcasing his extraordinary agile voice.

There was a vivacious rendition of Don’t Stop Me Now by Peter Eldridge which was a particular crowd pleaser, before all four singers took to the stage to kick off Bohemian Rhapsody in true karaoke style.

For the encore there were only two songs left; We Are The Champions and We Will Rock You, which is exactly what they did. With everyone up on their feet, arms swaying and singing as though their lives depended upon it, a cacophony of brilliant music swirled around the auditorium.

Any form of Queen fan would be hard pressed not to like this show. Granted, it is not Queen themselves but a celebration of their music; a tribute of sorts to one of the greatest rock bands in the world. And what a delightful tribute it was.