Try a Little Freddie

Whatever happened to Mika? You recall, the guy who wanted to be like Grace Kelly but his looks were too sad? Back at the dawning of 2007 he was tipped to be the next big thing on the BBC’s annual Sound Of poll. He certainly had an amazing vocal range and when he burst into “Freddie,” within the song, well, it was sublimely accurate.

But there never was, and unquestionably will never be another Freddie Mercury; don’t even attempt it. The decline in sales botched Mika’s intention of a comeback and he was reduced to a judge on the Italian version of X-Factor.

Caught in the time of glam, big hair and experimentation in rock that’ll never be mirrored, we live now with only the memories of Queen, the odd appearance of Brian May atop Buckingham Palace, the many tribute acts and stage show, We Will Rock You. Bradford-on-Avon’s Character Stage School are planning to perform this, with auditions for ages seven – fourteen on March 1st at St. Brendan’s Performing Arts Academy. See here for details.

Meanwhile, here in Devizes tickets for The Invitation Theatre’s next show, “TITCO Does Queen,” are diminishing at an average rate of ten per day, and with only two dates: 29th and 30th June, you’d better want to ride your bicycle over to Devizes Books before they bite the dust. But what’s it all about? I asked Jemma Brown.

Being Jemma manages publicity for TITCO as well as performing, and husband Anthony conducts the Full Tone Orchestra, it comes as no surprise to hear the TITCO and The Full Tone would unite one day, but nevertheless, it’s a thoroughly welcomed one.

So, is this the first time they’re collaborating? Jemma explained although they had TITCO singers at the Full Tone concert in February, this is the first time the whole of TITCO will feature alongside the full Full Tone, thirty-seven piece orchestra. “On a big scale,” ever-enthusiastic Jemma added, “the sound will be immense!!”

Interesting then that TITCO will host original material as apposed to performing set Queen-inspired stage shows, but is there a narrative to their extravaganza?

“Yes,” Jemma informed me, “there will be clever stuff linking it all together; in true TITCO style!”

I gulped with visions of Ian Diddams straddling a half-microphone stand garbed in harlequin leotard, “No Freddie looky-likey then?!”

“No!” Jemma thankfully confirmed. No matter how accomplished the Didds and remaining TITCO team are, as I said, trying to be like Freddie will only see you judging Italian X-Factor! “Although there is talk of inviting the audience to come as their favourite Freddie!!” Jemma supplemented.

Now there’s a piece of audience participation which will go down a treat, even afterwards in the chip shop queue. Queen is a mash of rock and opera/classical though, and here we are with an orchestra performing their songs, is it going to have the rock element too?

“It certainly is,” Jemma explained, “We’ll have four guitars…!!!”

Well, that’s mud on my face, I’m a big disgrace. Don’t mind me, kicking my can all over the place, but if TITCO want to sing, “We will, we will rock you,” and the plethora of other timeless Queen classics at the Corn Exchange 29th and 30th June, don’t stop them now.

Tickets from Devizes Books or here.

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