Queen Forever’s We Are The Champions Tour has exploded into venues all around Australia in 2019, kicking off with sold out shows at Perth’s Crown Theatre, Anita’s in Thirroul and The Chelsea Heights Hotel.
On the 15th of March, Queen Forever took their fist pumpin’, foot stomping’ brand of Queen’s legendary greatest hits to the State Theatre in Sydney.
In attendance was Glenn A. Baker, arguably Australia’s greatest ever rock historian. A brief bio of Glenn is as follows, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Glenn A. Baker AM (born 28 July 1952) is an Australian journalist, commentator, author, and broadcaster well known in Australia for his vast knowledge of Rock music. He has written books and magazine articles on rock music and travel, interviewed celebrities, managed bands such as Ol’ 55 and promoted tours of international stars.In the mid-1980s, Baker took the BBC‘s “Rock Brain of the Universe” crown three times. Baker was the Australian editor of Billboard for over 20 years. He won the inaugural Australian Travel Writer of the Year award in 1995 from the Australian Society of Travel Writers, and he won the award again in 2000.
Queen Forever were thrilled to have Glenn in the audience and especially blown away that he made his way backstage after the show for a chat which ended up lasting a couple of hours!
Here is his review:
A while back I wrote about catching a performance by ‘The Supremes’ in Sydney – without one original member and with virtually no acknowledgement of the sources of all those classic songs.
Lest it be concluded, from the exchanges that followed, that I was down on all tribute acts allow me to explain that such is not the case. Not that long ago I took the stage at the Abba Festival in Trundle and introduced Bjorn Again with considerable enthusiasm. There are Elvis Presley tribute artists, such as Mark Andrew, that I hold in high regard. And of course I recently presented The Nancy & Lee Experience and Tijuana Taxi at The Hub in Springwood. On the ‘Rock The Boat 6’ cruise, on which I officiated, I was quite blown away by The Fortunes, a 50 year old ‘name’ that has no members that go back in the ranks for more than 30.
I recognize that there are corps of fabulous tribute acts – a great many of them Australian – who are breathtakingly good. I’m thinking of the Australian Pink Floyd Show and Elton Jack. And then there’s Jeff Duff as David Bowie and Stewart D’Arrietta as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen.
I’m a bit late in writing up a night I spent, a few weeks ago, observing a performance by Queen Forever, an outfit now under the management of John Tyrrell, the mastermind of Bjorn Again. The band has been in existence for some 13 years, built around the passion of Gareth Hill, who is Freddie Mercury reborn. He has surrounded himself with players who – through hundreds of hours of rehearsal – have come to understand and to deliver – the musical imagination of the band they are seeking to replicate. Scott Bastian nails Brian May with commendable skill. Brad Hodge is an energetic Roger Taylor and Darryn McLaughlin a reliable John Deacon (as Deacon always was).
Since the film Bohemian Rhapsody opened, Queen Forever has been in considerable demand and Tyrrell has them working in every state, almost every night. He even has them playing the Rugby 7’s in Hong Kong.
A number of things impressed me that night at the State Theatre. They were musically dexterous and took the audience with them at all points. It was the small things that counted for a lot. But in the end it was ‘Freddie’ who called all the shots. At times the likeness was quite uncanny.
I can see them going down the same road as Bjorn Again. Maybe they’ll even get to play London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Glenn A. Baker
We feel absolutely privileged to have met the great, Glenn A. Baker and greatly enjoyed catching up with you after our show to pick your incredible rock brain!
Cheers from, Gareth, Brad, Scott, Darryn, Danny & John for a great night!