Since the start we tried to be the best Queen tribute we possible could be. Queen is famous for his incredible singer, vocal harmonies, unmistakable guitar sound, countless catchy hits and their energetic live show with the flamboyant Freddie Mercury leading the way. Quite a challenge!
The devil's in the details
We analysed every aspect down to the smallest detail. First we dove into their entire discography. Then we watched as many live performances as possible to see how they made it all happen. It became quite clear that we needed a keyboard player next to the classic setup of singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer. Queen was also forced to add an extra musician for their final tours in the 80’s. We studied everything with precision and care to make sure we’d be the best Queen tribute we could be! The stage setup, the clothes, the instruments,… (read more about Brian May’s guitar sound, right HERE). Even the microphones Queen used were tracked down and purchased to approach the sound to perfection!
A big challenge was the vocal harmony! For their live shows, Queen had to compromise a lot in that departement. In the studio they’d usually record four part harmony (if they wanted to keep it sober). In a live situation they only had Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor who’d have to make the complex vocal arrangements work.
Apart from the lead singer, Mother Mercury has three instrumentalists that can sing the vocal harmonies. Because of this advantage we have to compromise less, which makes it possible to get closer to the well known studio versions.
The Magic Tour in 1986 was a big inspiration! Especially the live recordings of Wembley proved to be priceless. Queen is in top form and plays an explosive rock show in which countless hits are thrown at the crowd. We compared the live versions with the singles and discussed which version would work best for us. Sometimes the studio recording proved to be the best, because it had more vocal harmony and typical melodies which were scratched for the live performance. Sometimes we just went for the often times bigger, more energetic live versions.
Our ‘Freddie’, Sonny, wanted to take it one step further by absorbing the essence of Freddie’s gigantic stage presence. He studied how Freddie walked, danced, jumped, twirled and played with the crowd. Those typical movements made sure it tied the whole thing together.
Wigs and fake moustaches?
Also in the wardrobe departement the Magic tour proved to be a huge source of inspiration for our frontman. Everbody knows Freddie Mercury’s moustache and Brian May’s lush curls. We don’t have those features at all. So we asked ourselves the question which every tribute band faces sooner or later: “Are we going to perform with or without wigs?”. We doubted for a long time and contacted the best wig makers. If we’d do it, we’d only do it with the best materials. After a lot of discussions, we decided to give priority to the music and not the look.
We wouldn’t want the people to wonder the whole time if that moustache is fake or if the guitarist’s wig should have been longer. We want to give a carefree show in which people can dance and sing their hearts out. To us, the fake moustache and wigs makes the whole show carnavalesque and that’s not the kind of hommage we want to bring.
On the other hand, we wanted the crowd to know we were a Queen band without a single doubt! That’s why we decided to dress the entire band in the most famous outfits. When you think about Freddie, you probably see him in his iconic yellow jacket, white trousers with the red and gold side trim. Or maybe you think of him in the white tank top with the blue jeans or the gigantic crown with his red kings robe. You can see all those outfits and much more in Mother Mercury’s live show. Come check us out some time and you be the judge of whether or not we are the best Queen tribute band.