18 March 2016
Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
I visited St. Helens Theatre Royal to watch Magic a kind of Queen. The theatre is so easy to get to and with parking free on the local council car parks at the weekend (we parked at Birchley Street) it’s also cheap to get to. The theatre is also opposite the bus station and 5 minutes walk from the train station.
I went along with my sister-in-law and wasn’t sure what to expect. It was made obvious from the beginning that this band were not intending to impersonate Queen in any way. Instead they simply wanted to pay tribute to them and celebrate their music. When they entered the stage, it was obvious that they were not and could not impersonate Queen, they looked nothing like them (many members of the band being quite a lot older than the band in their heyday), something they themselves joked about between songs.
It took a while for us to really make up our minds about them. It was obvious that the rest of the audience were struggling as well. But to be honest I think it came down to people’s expectations. For those that expected to see a Freddie look-a-like and a band that emulated Queen, they were left disappointed, some choosing not to return after the interval. However I think once we got into the spirit of it and appreciated the bands own style, we started to enjoy it. The singer, Roger Brown had a great voice. At times I thought he sounded more like Paul McCartney and even his ‘David Bowie ‘ when singing Under Pressure was great.
It was clear that the band was having a lot of fun and this is what helped the audience respond to them in a positive way. Although there were some obvious fans in the audience who by the end were dancing and clapping along. Magic played all the greatest hits and some others. Roger and Trevor’s rendition of Love of my Life was very touching and when Roger sang The Days of Our Lives it visibly brought a wave of emotions across the audience, the feelings were palpable.
They built up to Bohemian Rhapsody which, I had wondered throughout, if they were going to attempt it and if they could pull it off. Well they did on both counts. I was actually really impressed as I think this s a very difficult song to get right but they did it beautifully. It was very impressive and I was left in no doubt of the skills and talent of all the musicians in the band. It was put together seamlessly as was the entire show.
I would recommend this show as a fun night out and a fitting celebration of Queen’s music but this comes with a warning. If you are looking forward to seeing impersonators then this isn’t the show for you. Magic have their own style and even covered Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra which is another show that the band do. It went down really well with the audience and showed how versatile the band are. They obviously had a solid fan base judging from the more enthusiastic members of the audience and although I wouldn’t personally go and watch them again if it’s the music you love then this is the band for you.
Magic a kind of Queen are currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.magicakindofqueen.co.uk.
For other shows at the Theatre Royal in St. Helens visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ