If you’re a fan of Queen, don’t miss the amazing tribute show that’s about to hit C.ex Coffs on Friday May 4. The guys from Killer Queen tell FOCUS about their show.
When was Killer Queen first established?
Killer Queen was established in 2006. Before this, for a short time, it was part of a show called the ‘King & Queen Show’, which featured Elvis and then a set of Queen, all in full costume. We realised the popularity of the music of Queen was strong enough for its own show, so set about the challenge of creating an accurate tribute to this iconic band.
Introduce your band members …
Firstly, Johnny Blunt as Freddie Mercury. Johnny comes from an acting background and had already performed as Freddie at Movieworld, both here and internationally.
He has been featured in Woman’s Day and recently appeared on a French TV program featuring lookalikes from all over Europe. Johnny was picked over several Freddie Mercury impersonators to perform in the show, and was flown from Australia for the event. The show was televised to millions of viewers around the UK and Europe. His closeness in looks to Freddie Mercury is now legendary!
Next is Anthony Smith, as Brian May. He has to imitate the soaring guitar solos of the legendary guitarist, and having the exact replica of Brian May’s guitar is a must and the exact amplifiers. And of course, he plays with an English sixpence for a plectrum as Brian does, to create the instantly recognisable sound of Queen. Many times people have come up after a gig to ask if he is the real Brian May!
Wayne Vitale, as John Deacon on bass, complete with accurate costumes, instruments and a virtuosity that matches this key part of Queen perfectly. Kevin Shilling as Roger Taylor, our newest member, creates the thundering drums and high vocals that make a live Queen show an exhilarating experience. The fifth member of Queen was a man named Spike Edney, and we have Ben Crossman who plays piano and all the synthesizer parts that made Queen move perfectly with the times to be in the charts for 40 years.
Queen’s original guitarist, Brain May, has even commended Killer Queen as being ‘astonishing’. How amazing was that for you to get such a good review from him?
Yes, we are on the official website as a tribute show, and to have accolades from one of the people you are tributing is a wonderful compliment.
What have been your career highlights?
Certainly performing in Norway last year with Foreigner and Journey at the Skanevik Blues Festival was an incredible experience; firstly, being on the same bill as these legendary bands, but to be the first tribute to perform at the festival was an honour.
Killer Queen featured on Australia’s Got Talent. How has that helped launch you into the spotlight?
What has had much more impact than the 3 minutes performing on the show (cut down to 90 seconds!) has been the hundreds of thousands of hits the clip has had on Youtube. This has definitely put us out into cyberspace and has given us the overseas opportunities that would have never come about if we were just performing in our local clubs and advertising locally.
You’re coming to Coffs Harbour in May to perform your latest show. What can we expect from it?
Firstly, you will see a full production show complete with laser lighting, accurate looks and costumes and the energy of a live Queen concert – all live, no backing tracks or miming! Great dance music, great ballads and unforgettable melodies, with lots of opportunities to sing along with Freddie!
Our aim is for people to walk out of the show either: thinking that they have just seen Queen; reminiscing about a Queen concert they saw when they were younger; never got to see Queen and are happy they got a glimpse by coming to see our show. And finally, it’s just a great night out for all ages!
This story was published in issue 20 of Coffs Coast Focus