Magic: A Kind of Queen Brunton Theatre **** FREDDIE Mercury would have been turning in his grave.
Not because he would be offended or insulted by the performance last night at Musselburgh's Brunton Theatre, but because he'd have wanted to lean over to hear them a bit better.
The band are called Magic, and they serve as a tribute band to one of the most unique groups in the history of popular music – Queen.
It's interesting to note, though, that this particular kind of Queen required more members to replicate the sound of the original.
To be fair, on stage, the original band was usually augmented by at least a keyboard player to take over the keys whenever Mercury was out front doing what only Mercury could do.
And that was possibly the only let-down in Magic's otherwise excellent show: There really was only ever one Freddie Mercury, and despite his obvious and huge talent and vocal range, Roger Brown isn't him.
Like most of the rest of the band, Brown isn't a youngster, and while that didn't impede his singing or his playfulness around the stage, he just doesn't look outrageous enough to get away with a proper impersonation.
Not that any of them were trying to look anything like the originals.
The only concern here was that the sounds be as faithfully recreated as possible. Of more importance to Brown was the fact that they never use backing tapes (other than the sound effects at the start of One Vision). Even if they did use an extra guitarist, they can be justifiably proud of what they can do.
Arguably all of Queen's greatest hits featured in the show. Even a few older, fondly remembered numbers like Seven Seas of Rye and Keep Yourself Alive were hauled out, alongside classics like Killer Queen, Another One Bites The Dust and, naturally, A Kind of Magic.
It was their greatest hit that provided the biggest eye-opener, though.
Not even Queen themselves performed the entirety of Bohemian Rhapsody live, because the middle section – the Scaramouche part – was too difficult to reproduce outside of the recording studio.
Magic, making use of the vocal capabilities of all members of the band, nailed it, though.
True, it wasn't as lush or layered as the original, but it was still a treat for the audience of Queen fans to finally see the whole song performed live.
While Bohemian Rhapsody might have been one of the more challenging moments of the show, it has to be said that the entire repertoire of Queen songs presents a level of difficulty that most musicians would shy away from. The guitar parts alone would trouble most guitarists, but Trevor Lock, armed with his Brian May replica guitar, took them all in his stride like a pro.
Many musicians hope to inspire young people to aspire to greater things, and Magic certainly push themselves on to higher achievements with each song.
Perhaps by keeping the music of such a seminal group alive, this sextet can help to inspire another generation to produce their own kind of magic.