Tribute is a Kind of Magic

The last time I saw Patrick Myers was when, as disillusioned second year Goldsmith’s College students, we individually decided to take a year out from studies to pursue other interests. His alternative project was the then titled Closet Queen; an act based on Freddie Mercury, who had died a couple of years earlier in 1991. Patrick had discovered a gift for being able to morph his face, voice and mannerisms into those of the former lead singer of Queen and with some encouragement from a high profile theatre director of the time, wanted to pursue this further.

When I saw that Killer Queen were performing at The Winter Gardens on Saturday night, I wanted to catch up with the lead singer (who had trained as an actor) and learn about the journey that he has been on from a young man with a shadow of an idea to, twenty years later, travelling the world, entertaining stadia full of crowds and making his living from one of the most highly celebrated homage acts in existence.

On entering his dressing room, initially I questioned my own memories of how Patrick looks in everyday life, however, with a swift removal of false teeth and black wig, I could look past the blacked-up facial hair and see him as I remembered – albeit a few years older – and still without so much as even a glancing resemblance to his alter-ego.

We caught up about partners, kids and old friends, about other projects and hopes for the future and inevitably the question of ‘how much longer can you do this for?’ came up; something that Pat had obviously mulled over many times. Always coming back to the fact that he had never quite imagined Killer Queen would become as big as it was and so as he hadn’t come up with a viable Plan B yet, he would keep doing it for as long as he could.

“There’s times when my schedule will include a 48 hour one-way trip, followed directly by a big gig, the same trip back home for a few hours before jumping on a coach to travel ten hours in another direction and that can be hard. The admin, the promotional stuff – that’s the day job – that’s the stuff that I guess is like any other job but the being on stage side of what I do I still absolutely love – I never take it for granted.”

Patrick has honed his craft through hours of watching video footage, listening to music, trying and retrying. When he first started he could play the guitar but not the keyboard and so he’s had to teach himself a great deal along the way and on stage he nails it so the hours have been well spent.

“I realise it’s just a tribute act but I try to keep learning new things all the time – I’m constantly testing my voice and my musical abilities to make it as good as it possibly can be.  I love that shared energy that we all create together – me, the band and the audience – I know it sounds a bit hippyish, but for me that’s what singing and music is all about – and they’re such great songs so there’s something amazing in being a part of that!”

For any Queen fans, the Killer Queen experience is a must; the act and particularly Freddie’s performance are expertly observed and executed, with a night filled with high-energy renditions of some of their greatest, and lesser-known, hits it does indeed feel that you’re in the presence of rock royalty.  Beware of imitations though, be sure you do get the actual Patrick Myers.

Full line up includes vocals Patrick Myers, lead guitar Simon Small, bass guitar Brad Waissman and drums Mike Kruk.

To find out more, you can follow them on Facebook or see their full touring schedule here.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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