REVIEW: One Night of Queen with Gary Mullen and The Works

Strutting like a peacock across the stage, the crowd could have been forgiven for thinking they had been teleported back to 1984, as Gary Mullen wowed the Regent Theatre in Ipswich.

It’s just over 22 years ago since Freddie Mercury’s untimely death but it’s safe to say his legacy lives on.

Queen’s music is as popular as ever and tribute act Mullen and his band The Works certainly put on a show that the great man would have been proud of.

Thirteen years ago, Mullen was an unknown act that was about to be catapulted into the limelight by winning Stars in their Eyes.

Since then, he has polished and added charisma to an act which has stood the test of time if Thursday night’s crowd was anything to go by.

From the opening rendition of “We Will Rock You” to the somewhat predictable curtain closer, “We are the Champions”, music lovers of all ages were on their feet, engrossed in his performance.

He had Mercury’s over-the-top preening and prancing down to a tee and threw in the odd bit of gyrating, holding nothing back as he belted out the hits that made Queen a musical monster, especially in the Eighties.

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His theatrical performance at times masked an occasional flaw in reaching the remarkable high notes that only Mercury was capable, but more often than not he got the vocals spot on, especially when it came to the deep, throaty rock growl, that made Freddie instantly recognisable.

Supported by a superb band, including the impressive David Brockett - with his impressive Brian May-inspired hair - on lead, and Jonathan Evans, who wowed the audience with his drum solo, Mullen’s talent came to the fore with near-perfect versions of “Flash”, “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy”, “Under Pressure”, “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Break Free”.

Unfortunately, Bohemian Rhapsody, got somewhat lost in the second half, while the slower “Love of my Life” seemed out of place among Mullen’s breathless set, although both songs still sounded good.

Overall, two hours of great entertainment was had and, just like the late showman’s stage performances, Mullen and the Works show no sign of slowing down.

That will be music to the ears of fans far and wide.

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