Chichester/Bognor Regis-based Queen tribute band Monarchy play the Windmill Theatre, Littlehampton on Saturday, October 6 as they look to build on recent success.
In early September, they played the Hard Rock Cafe London for the late Freddie Mercury’s birthday party in conjunction with The Mercury Phoenix Trust.
Paul Joyner – the band’s Freddie – is delighted with the way it went: “It was absolutely fantastic. We played two 45-minute sets, and they gave us a costume change in the middle. We were playing to ardent Queen fans, dressed-up Freddies and fan club members, and these guys don’t pull their punches when they are giving feedback, and they loved it.
“The great thing is that Monarchy took two years to prepare, using my knowledge of Queen. We were trying for the optimum authenticity, fine-tuning everything, and they really appreciated it. We could have been gigging a year and a half ago, but we wanted to get absolutely everything right before we started out. Now we are looking to play theatres. We would also love to play the Queen fan club convention which is the holy grail.
“We are on the right path, and that is very rewarding, but it was also very emotional because I am also one of the most ardent Queen fans.
“We have done about ten gigs now. The next one is in Littlehampton. We were desperately wanting to play a local show. It is all very well going all over the country, but we wanted a home show to play.”
Touring would be the goal: “We want to get to the stage where we require management and get into the theatres, and that goal is approaching fast. We need to be playing as many gigs as possible. There are many Queen bands out there, but we are the band that has put in the most hours. We do the full Bohemian Rhapsody. We sat in a room and broke down all the harmonies. We try to bring the audience that extra five to ten per cent that other Queen bands don’t attempt to do. We want to be the best possible band, and I am confident that the Hard Rock Café gig showed that.
“For me, it is a pleasure to keep the music alive. From when I got my first paper round, I was spending every pound I had on Queen cassettes, as it was then. And then I went on to CDs and vinyl, and it has carried on. I have got an enormous Queen vinyl collection, a huge memorabilia collection. I am a bit of an anorak, to be honest, but I hope that all exudes from my performance.
“The first album I got was The Works with Radio Ga Ga and I Want To Break Free, but once I got into that album, I worked my way backwards through the other albums, their whole back catalogue. They started off as a glamrock band and then they became more commercial as they got older and got wiser and went from 500 people standing to 1,000 people standing to playing all those huge stadiums.”
Stepping onto the stage as Freddie, Paul is playing a part: “I go on there and I get into the character. As soon I put the leather jacket on or whatever, I am in character.”