When Giles Taylor was a boy, his father played Queen’s greatest hits album constantly in the car on the drive to school.
He said he was struck by the British rock group’s creativity and distinct sound.
“The fact that every song was so different from one another and also sounded like nothing else that was out at the time really grabbed my attention and still does today,” he said via e-mail.
“I believe that this forms part of their timeless legacy.”
These days Taylor relives Queen’s glory years on stage, portraying frontman Freddie Mercury in Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic, a tribute concert that recreates the group’s 1986 world tour. The show comes to Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on May 16.
As a lifelong fan himself, Taylor said he is grateful for the opportunity to continue the legacy of Mercury, who died of pneumonia as a result of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45. He said the role requires continuous rehearsal.
“It is both an honour and also a very intimidating experience at the same time. To relive the songs, actions and performances of such an iconic figure is quite daunting,” he said.
“[Mercury] was one of a kind. He had the right mix of nonsensical flamboyance and raw vocal talent to be able to stamp his mark on the memory of many generations.”
Many generations are what Taylor sees before him when he gazes into the audience. He said those who lived through Queen the first time and new fans just discovering the group are present.
“We are lucky to attract both. We have people from the ages of seven to 70 come to our gigs; partly due to the legacy that Freddie left and partly due to Queen being revived with the youthful, yet equally flamboyant, Adam Lambert fronting the band now,” Taylor said, referring to the former American Idol contestant who performs with the remaining members of Queen.
Taylor said it’s been a wonderful experience bringing the group’s music to a new generation of fans, just like his father did with his Queen-powered commutes.
“There is nothing more satisfying than seeing different generations of the same family be elated at the same performance,” he said.
WHAT’S ON … Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic comes to the Port Theatre on May 16 at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $59, $54 for groups of 10 or more, $30 for children 12 and under.