Markus Hamence Presents The Freddie Mercury Songbook @ The Arkaba, Fullarton SA 4/11/2022

Starting with the thunderous beats of We Will Rock You to get the adrenalin of the audience pumping it’s another Markus Hamence Presents show The Freddie Mercury Songbook. All the massive Queen hits were there, along with three powerhouse vocalists matching the energy of the much-loved icon and an audience who couldn’t get enough!

Greg Gould, Sarah C and Jimi the Kween brought the house down with big songs, big sounds and big energy. Singing together on classics We Will Rock You and I Want it All, blending their vocals effortlessly with high energy, they created the essence that was Freddie Mercury but with their own unique style.

Gould is a vocal dynamo with an energy that just leaves you breathless just watching him. He brought the good times with Don’t Stop Me Now, walking though the audience giving them an up close and personal musical experience with his high paced cheeky fun!

Jimi the Kween gave us Fat Bottom Girls and there wasn’t a fat bottom on this Queen just some rocking knee high boots, a glittery silver leotard suit and a vocal to shake any one’s booty to the ground! There were audience singalongs, high kicks and bottoms slaps galore and everyone lapped in up in spades.

She may not be a well-known name in Adelaide like her home town of Melbourne but after this weekend everyone’s going to know Sarah C. Belting out Killer Queen just like a killer queen with a killer smile it was mesmerising watching her do more than justice to the Queen songs. She owned it like she was born to rock!

It’s a big move to mess with any Queen song but if it’s done right, it’s a kind of magic! Gould sang a jazzy cabaret version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love getting the crowd up on their feet for what was the start of a night of dancing before the brief interlude of ballads. Jimi the Kween singing solo his first ever ballad Love of My Life with musical director Jonathon Skovron on guitar, Gould, with Brenton Foster on piano, dedicated a stripped back soulful You’re My Best Friend to his partner of three years leaving a few in tears and Sarah C giving us a slower tempo yet pulverising The Show Must Go On. And that was just the First Act of the two-hour show!

Special mention to the band who brought the sounds of Queen to life. Along with Skovron and Foster there were the talents of Nick Sinclair on bass and Thom Mann on drums.

Second Act saw costume changes with a matching blue theme and starting the songs with Radio GaGa, Another One Bites the Dust and the classic Bowie and Queen smash Under Pressure with an extra touch of a Vanilla Ice rap thrown in for good measure! Adding a bit of audience participating fun was the Day-Oh sing off with the left and right side of the room with the winner being crowd favourite Trev. Trev was the unofficial crowd hype guy making sure everyone got up to dance!

It has to be said that Jimi the Kween was up there with Beyonce for most costume changes and the best one had to be the from the I Want To Break Free video. Strolling on stage with the black wig, black skirt and pink (full boobed) top with a broom in hand, it was comical and lighthearted fun. The song was a crowd favourite for sure!

Briefly back to a poignant moment of the night Gould sang Who Wants to Live For Ever and then duetting with the brilliant Sarah C who smashed it vocally on Somebody to Love. Gould singing for the first time the Brian May song written for Freddie Noone But You was dedicated to all the people we’ve lost to HIV/AIDS.

The show had to finish on a high and a high it was, We Are The Champions before the crowd stomped and screamed for more getting Bohemian Rhapsody as the encore. Gould asked the audience if they ‘had fun tonight?’ and you don’t have to guess the reply…it was a roaring “YES!”

Live Review By Anastasia Lambis

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