Tag Archives: Queen

Queen + Adam Lambert – Live in Kiev

On 30th June 2012 Queen played their first gig with American star, Adam Lambert, in Kiev, Ukraine. Ever since the British rock group performed with Lambert on American Idol in 2009 there has been talk of further work together. This year that promise came to fruition. The first gig the band played was in Kiev, Ukraine – where the band have previously worked to publicize an anti-aids message.

In many ways the setlist and shape of the evening did not stray far from the model that the band established with previous singer, Paul Rodgers. Lambert belted through a series of the expected hits – “I Want It All”, “Radio GaGa” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” whilst also giving space for Brian’s rendition of “Love Of My Life” and Roger’s “A Kind Of Magic”. The traditional drum solo (with added contribution from Rufus Taylor) and guitar solo also feature.

However, it would be wrong to say that there has been no change since 2008. Unlike Paul Rodgers, Lambert supplies none of his own material and this means that there is also more space for other Queen classics, including “Who Wants To Live Forever” and a medley of 70s classics “Seven Seas Of Rhye” and “Keep Yourself Alive”. Lambert also tackles “Somebody To Love” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” – tracks that would have fallen outside the scope of the former Free frontman. Similarly Lambert skips the heavy rocking “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Hammer To Fall” that were highlights of Q+PR performances.

Brian and Roger’s performances are as polished as ever throughout the show. Just like 2005 and 2008, the band give Lambert a perfect live karaoke backing for him to sing across – the pure Queen sound is there throughout. Spike Edney is once again on keys but there is no room for Jamie Moses and Danny Miranda is replaced on bass. The more than able Rufus Taylor is drafted in to give his dad a helping hand!

Now to comment on Lambert. Prior to doing so I will state my bias, I am obviously a fan of the original line-up but am also a big fan of Paul Rodgers work with the band. Prior to seeing this I wanted to dislike Lambert’s performance for being a television show star and American etc. But, I don’t mind it. Lambert has a voice which has a similar range and style to Mercury and is closer to him than Paul Rodgers was or tried to be. Lambert can touch material Paul couldn’t and gives generally enjoyable renditions – this is a gig that I could enjoy. However, for me I do still prefer Paul out of the two. I liked the fact that Rodgers’ voice is so different to Mercury’s; this helped him put his own stamp on the material. He was also able to bring his own songs to the mix which Lambert doesn’t.

Overall this performance was enjoyable enough and I certainly wouldn’t be adverse to seeing the band should they decide to tour again. Lambert gives decent performances but they are a bit close to Freddie’s to me – more like a musical-show interpretation rather than a new band singer. The setlist is pretty much as expected but it’s good to see that the band have managed to squeeze in some material not dusted off on the last two tours. To sum Q+AL up, I’d say not great, but definitely good.

Queen + Adam Lambert – Live in Kiev 6/10

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What does 2012 hold?

I thought in this post I would ponder what 2012 holds for some of the bands and individuals that I’ve followed over the course of the year. These are in no particular order so feel free to browse through and comment your opinions and predications.

Status Quo

The mighty Quo had an eventful 2011 with the release of the critically acclaimed album Quid Pro Quo. Reaching the top 10 in the UK and having a run of singles making the BBC Radio 2 A-playlist marks a significant success for the British group.

The clamour round the band seems to suggest that 2012 could be just as notable for the band as it celebrates its 50th year (in various forms) and 35 years since the release of the iconic Rockin’ All Over The World. A film, entitled Hello Quo is planned for release for Autumn 2012. This film, involving all the original members of the band, known as ‘The Frantic Four’, has given rise to the rumour that a series of reunion gigs involving John Coglan and Alan Lancaster could be taking place across the course of the year. When asked whether this likely to happen, current bassist, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards said he did know something about it but wouldn’t say what he knew! This possible event is sure to keep the appetite of Quo fans whetted through 2012.

Brian Setzer / Lee Rocker / Slim Jim Phantom

In the year 2011 Brian Setzer released his first all-instrumental album: Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!. This was supported by the Rockabilly Riot tour that covered Europe and the US, with fellow Stray Cat, Slim Jim Phantom, in tow. Lee Rocker made his mark on broadway in 2011, playing as part of the cast of Million Doller Quartet for a select series of shows.

Lee Rocker has announced two albums for 2012. The first is a debut to CD of his 1985 album, Phantom, Rocker & Slick. The second is a new release entitled Night Train To Memphis.  This could be the long-mentioned Rocker record of rockabilly classics and his own stamped versions of some of the Stray Cats cuts. This album, containing ‘Twenty-Flight Rock’ and ‘Night Train To Memphis’ is slated for release in Feb. 2012.

Brian Setzer has announced that his next album will be recorded with the Rockabilly Riot Squad, with some tracks possible including the double rhythm section that marked the conclusion of the gigs. Whether this will be completed in 2012 or include Slim Jim Phantom we are yet to see.

Duane Eddy

With the release of his first album in 25 years, Road Trip, Duane Eddy seems set to hit the big time on the rockabilly music scene again. Working with Richard Hawley, 2012 promises a UK tour for Eddy, in support of his Sheffield inspired and recorded album of 2011. Although dates are yet to be confirmed we look forward to see Duane following on from his handful of UK dates from the festival season of 2011.

Jerry Lee Lewis

2012 promises a European tour and new live record for The Killer. The tour currently takes in Bucharest, Paris and Cannes in June. The record is called Live At Third Man Records. The album, produced by White Stripes guitarist, Jack White, is to be released. It is only available on vinyl to those that were there to begin with but will be released on CD later in the year.

This is a general cover-all of action I know is upcoming for some of the rock rockabilly groups I like. I’m sure others will have a busy year – I’d be stunned if there wasn’t more from Imelda May (with the re release of No Turning Back)  and Roger Taylor, of Queen, has already claimed he has a busy year in store. Brian May is set to hit the road once again with Kerry Ellis. If you know some more please feel free to add it in!

One To Watch –  As a final note I thought I’d add that I found Jamie N Commons on the BBC Sound of 2012 website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/soundof/2012/artists/jamiencommons/#p00m9nsc). With an interesting, late-Johnny Cash-esque sound shown in his track ‘The Preacher’, he could be one to watch in 2012.

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