Queen tribute band Monarchy are riding high after the huge success of the Queen-story film Bohemian Rhapsody.
Paul Joyner, the band’s Freddie, brings the band to The Windmill Theatre in Littlehampton on Saturday, May 18.
“Our first show with Monarchy was nearly two years ago after 18 months in the studio rehearsing. We rehearsed until the nth degree until we were fully polished and ready. We could have done shows after six months but we wanted to fine-tune everything so that it was the most accurate representation that we could possibly be. We are now gigging twice a month on average. We haven’t got a spare Saturday during the summer, and the autumn is looking busy going into Christmas.
“The impact of the Queen film has been phenomenal. The film was a huge success and it was the biggest-grossing film last year. It was fantastic. Going to see it in IMAX and seeing Queen up there on IMAX was just amazing, just where they belong. From a Queen anorak point of view, it was full of inaccuracies all the way through, but Hollywood did a fantastic job in representing Queen and representing Freddie and the tenderness of Freddie and the struggles that he went through. Timeline-wise the whole thing was a little bit suspect, and to a lot of the Queen community, the inaccuracies do matter. But myself, I just thought it was fantastic. I went to see it three times at the cinema, and before an actor even appeared on the screen, I had goose bumps. I just thought it was a fantastic piece of film.
“I have watched so many videos of Rami Malek. He didn’t just act the role. He went so deeply into Freddie’s life that he literally became him. Off the set, he was completely immersed in Freddie, and he has now got a deep love for Freddie and a deep love for Queen. He went so very, very deeply into the history of Queen, and you could see from his Oscar speeches how much it meant to him. It was such an honest portrait. It was not necessarily well received by the Queen community. There was a mixed response, but as a piece of film, I just thought it was really fantastic. It is not a common occurrence that you go to see a film and everybody stands up at the end and applauds!”
And the result is that Queen are now at the forefront of everybody’s minds: “Queen have always been a household name, but now everybody is so much more conscious of them.” And that is great news for Monarchy who are pleased to have become the first band to work in support of Queen’s charity, The Mercury Phoenix Trust: “Going forwards as a Queen production, Monarchy – The Ultimate Tribute To Queen will be donating ten per cent of all show profits to them. This relationship we now have with the MPT is fantastic for both ourselves and of course a very worthy charity indeed.”