It was with some excitement that I ventured out on a chilly January day to the Sceneo events venue in St Omer, northern France. It’s a lovely rural town, but I wasn’t there to enjoy the architecture, fabulous boulangeries and cosy cafés. I was there to meet a man called Gary Mullen and to have a rocking night out.
Gary, from Scotland, was in northern France to perform at Sceneo as his alter ego Freddie Mercury. I was lucky enough to grab some time with him and ask him about life on the road as a legend. Some of you may know him from the “Stars In Their Eyes” TV Show in the UK – he won it with the highest number of votes any act has ever received.
“I love my job” Gary told me “When people come to see us perform, they can forget their troubles for two hours and just enjoy themselves”. He’s a lifelong Freddie Mercury and Queen fan “when we played at the same Paris Venue as Queen, and I was in the dressing room he’d been in – it was amazing” he says. Being Freddie Mercury is an absolute passion for Gary. When he puts on the costume, it’s uncanny, he has the mannerisms, the cheekiness, the look of the legend. He’s performed as Freddie all around the world including BBC Proms in the Park. When you see him in the guise of the Queen singer and frontman, it’s an uncanny experience, as if the superstar has come back to rock us one more time.
Queen were an iconic band, their music has never dated and it’s as invigorating, skilful and brilliant as it ever was. That night in France, I sat in the audience enthralled alongside thousands as Gary and his talented band The Works turned into Freddie Mercury and Queen.
I can honestly say it was one of the most exhilarating concerts I’ve ever been to. French audiences are normally quite reticent in my experience but there was none of that here. “Get up and dance” cried Freddie and – to my astonishment they did. They boogied to “Fat Bottomed Girls”, they clapped to “We Will Rock You”, they whooped to “We are the Champions“. People stamped their feet and sang along to “Radio Gaga”, those that couldn’t get to the floor space and dance that is. Listening to Gary and The Works give their all is a wonderful homage to Queen but it’s more than that, they’re all exceptional performers in their own right.
Going to One Night of Queen leaves you feeling energised and smiling. The lighting, sound and stage presentation are superb. The performance is dazzling. When Gary ran on to the stage bear-chested waving the French flag, the crowd went wild. This is a truly fabulous, feel good night out.
If you get the chance to see Gary Mullen and The World perform One Night of Queen – and they tour worldwide – go, I guarantee you’ll have your night well and truly rocked.