QUEEN have a new head of their musically royal family in Adam Lambert and perform at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena tomorrow. Peter Mann catches up with them

NOVEMBER 1991 and the world mourned the loss of the Great Pretender, Farrokh Bulsara, better known as the iconic rocker. Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist of Queen.

Freddie, along with Roger Taylor and Brian May co-founded Queen in the late sixties, John Deacon joining in March ’71 and within two years the band’s debut, simply ‘Queen’ was instantly heralded as being the most exciting development in rock history.

For the next twenty years they were the greatest rock band alive, then they lost their inspiration, their leader, Freddie.

In late 2010, around what would have been Freddie’s 64th birthday, a poll named the icon as the ‘Greatest Rock Legend of All Time’ ahead of the likes of Bowie, Hendrix, Osbourne.

The year before Adam Lambert performed on stage with Queen in the American Idol final, beginning what would become a highly successful partnership which has seen them perform in every corner of the globe.

It would be in 2012 that, with Lambert alongside, they would make their official debut together in front of half a million fans in Kiev, Russia and in 2014 they performed their first, 35-date tour, of North America, Asia and Australasia, and it worked, quite impressively and was sharp followed in 2015 with an eagerly-anticipated European Tour.

Later that year Queen + Adam Lambert were named as ‘Band of the Year’ by the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, Lambert had arrived and Queen reiterated that they would live forever.

Now, as the band continues to perform across the globe, and in the midst of a world tour which began in early November in the Czech Republic and has taken in venues across Germany, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden before beginning a UK & Ireland leg this past weekend.

Speaking of the tour the surviving member of Queen, drummer Roger Taylor and guitar legend, Brian May are not only looking forward to doing what they do best, but have ambitions from it.

“It will look entirely different to the shows we took around before,” began Roger Taylor.

“The production has really changed a lot, the things you can do now, you have a much broader palette, and technology has really come along.

“But we don’t use it all, we don’t play to click track and it’s all 100% live.

“We're planning on doing stuff we either haven't done before or haven't done for a long time as we started as an albums band, that's what we were.

“The fact that we had hits was just a by-product.”

Looking to mix it up, along with Queen’s classic hits that include Another One Bites The Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You, and many more, Brian May, a guitarist in his own right as well as with Queen, confirmed their musical ambitions throughout the tour.

“The general public knows the hits, so you've got to cater for that,” added Brian.

“We can also chuck in a few things that people really don't expect and we’ll do quite a bit more of that this time around.”

Since first sharing a stage together in 2009, during the final of American idol the rock train has steamed across the continents unabated, Lambert proving as good a fit as there could possibly be to the shoes of the beloved Mercury.

His style, probably close to equal that of Mercury’s, has made Lambert stand out and rightly so; not many could pull that off and be able to keep a name like Queen going and follows on from the brief sojourn that Queen produced with Paul Rodgers between 2004 and 2009.

May adding of Lambert: “There are so many dimensions to Adam, which of course fits with our music.

“He can get down and do the rock stuff really dirty, and you have all those dimensions, and we can explore that even more.”

It’s all about the Queen’s classic hits though, and that’s what fans will come out in their droves to see, the selling out as soon as it went on sale – the hits, the spectacle, and the Queen phenomenon.

“What people should know if they came to the shows a couple of years back, is obviously we will still be playing the big hit songs you know and love from Queen, but we thought it would be good to challenge ourselves a bit,” explained Lambert of the current tour.

“Change it up a little bit, change the visuals, change all the technology, change the set list to some degree.

“We will probably be pulling some other songs out of the Queen catalogue which we haven’t done before, which I am very excited about.”

  • Performing at a sold out Metro Radio Arena on December 1, Queen + Adam Lambert will finish on December 15 at the SSE Arena, Wembley in their new, state-of-the-art show produced by Stufish Design.