Monday, 5 January 2015

Queen: 'The Rock Snob Tour'

I suspect that we all saw the New Year in watching Queen and Adam Lambert rocking in the shadow of Big Ben then?

No me neither

Cards on the table, big Queen fan in my teens, went to the Mercury Tribute gig and think there is much to love in their work. Went to the first gig at Brixton with Paul Rodgers out front and although the rock stuff worked well anything with any lightness or humour just didn't fit. Proving if there was  any need that Freddie Mercury's voice and talent was indispensable. I've seen that Lambert chap with em and he does a good job, bit X Factor in parts but a good set of pipes.

However you can't imagine the rock snob, even if they could see their way to accepting Queen as a fantastic rock band, going anywhere near their greatest hit live shows.

With Queen there seems to a be a clear dividing line - pre and post moustache. So pre 'The Game' which was the first not to contain the credit "no synthesisers" they were a serious rock band, after they were disco nancies with their pop music and silly videos.

It occurred to me that the recent Status Quo wheeze (cough, splutter, hack etc) of getting the classic no nonsense head down boogie lines up of 1970-6 seemed to appeal to a different and more 'rock snob' audience that wouldn't be seen dead at the more familiar Quo annual Xmas shows. The setlists were drawn purely from that period and 'Caroline' the only "hit" that would show up in their regular sets.

So I would wager that a Queen: Rock Snob Deep Cuts tour would do quite well and off the back of the rather spiffing 'Live At The Rainbow' set from 1974 remind people what a versatile songwriting unit they were.

So here's my suggested setlis
tDeath On Two Legs

Stone Cold Crazy
The Prophet Song
Lily Of the Valley
You And I
I'm In Love With My Car
Sail Away Sweet Sister *
Spread Your Wings
Coming Soon
Teo Torriate

Long Away
Doin' Alright
Queen II Suite:
Ogre Battle
The Fairy Feller's Masterstroke

The March Of the Black Queen
Funny How Love Is

Seven Seas Of Rhye

Brighton Rock \ Bring Back That Leroy Brown

See What A Fool I've Been
Dreamers Ball
Sheer Heart Attack
Rock N Roll Medley incl. Big Spender \ Shake Rattle & Roll \ Jailhouse Rock
We Will Rock You (fast version)
My Melancholy Blues

* - yes it's from 'The Game', well spotted

Yet the thing that has been missing from Queen as much as Freddie's voice, showmanship and so on is his sense of humour. The silly, camp and faintly ridiculous were all part of the fun. That what po faced rock fans missed just like the people who accuse Morrissey of being miserable despite writing extremely witty words. Or rather the sense of fun was something that they couldn't relate to or believe belonged in rock music.

Perhaps John Deacon has the right idea in letting sleeping dogs lie. Yet he wrote more than a few crackers including this which would be my highlight from that set.



  1. Agree with all of the above. I was a late adopter with Queen. Gave them swift shrift in my teens being a punk avid (didn't help they had the cheek to use two Sex Pistols titles in their catalogue - Liar and GSTQ. Well that was my take aged 13).

    But, in 1984. after chancing the first album (cassette edition on the Fame label) did a complete switcheroo. Later Queen 2 blew me away.

    Having watched a run of Queen performances over Christmas, Freddie was more magnificent than I remember. They'd probably be better off doing an Elvis 2000 type setup where Freddie footage is projected onto a live video screen, with his raw vocals fed through the PA...

    I saw the Elvis show - and 10 minutes in, you'd suspended disbelief and were happy to go along with the (kind of) magic

    1. At the Freddie Mercury tribute gig before the main Queen set started they showed footage of Freddie in the stadium from 1986 doing his "De-Deh-Doh' crowd call and response and the whole place joined in as if he were still there. Incredibly moving