REVIEW: Queen Extravaganza at Portsmouth Guildhall

Queen Extravaganza
Queen Extravaganza
Black Star Riders: from left, Scott Gorham, Chad Szeliga, Ricky Warwick,  Robbie Crane and Damon Johnson.  Picture by Richard Stow

Black Star Riders come under Heavy Fire on their latest tour

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Queen Extravaganza could be described as Queen’s own Queen tribute band, having been put together by Roger Taylor and Brian May.

However, this is not your average look-alike, dress-alike copy – this is a group of five individually selected musicians who focus entirely on the music.

The current tour is a 40th anniversary celebration of Queen’s first number one album A Night At The Opera. As well as containing the band’s biggest hit Bohemian Rhapsody, it illustrates just how diverse Queen’s music can be and it’s testament to the skills of this line up that they are able to do justice to every song.

From Death on Two Legs, through I’m in Love With My Car and You’re My Best Friend, we’re treated to impressively tight musical prowess, stunning harmonies and authentic Mercury-like vocals from Marc Martel. Merged with video footage of the original band, it’s an eerie experience at times.

After a run through of the album there’s another hour of great songs with a wealth of strong material. Even the encore was a bit of authentic Queen history as they mirrored the Live Aid set with a transition from We Will Rock You into We Are The Champions to earn a long and loud standing ovation. Not many tribute bands achieve that.