Queen, Freddie Mercury and Rock Choir!
Is it really 27 years since we lost Freddie? I worked it out….it was the year before I went off to University. In fact, I had only lived for 17 years before he was gone forever and yet sometimes it doesn’t feel like he’s been gone at all. He left us securely wrapped up in his legacy – his songs, his performances, his energy and unique charisma and for the very lucky ones, the memories of being in front of him, live, witnessing one of the most prolific performers and vocalists the rock and pop world has ever seen! “Born to perform!” his character announced in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Yes, he was! Born to fill our lives with joy and inspiration and we are so much better off for it. But what about him? Was he happy? Did he realise the impact he was making on the world along with his ‘family’ Roger, Brian and John? Will they ever really understand how special they are and how their music has improved and impacted the lives for so many hundreds and thousands of us across the globe?!
The movie is fabulous; full of music (of course!) and allowing us in, gently, to witness some of the significant moments that shaped the lives of our beloved band Queen and their rise to fame. It must have been tricky to choose which moments, both light and dark, should make it to the shortlist to structure a movie that documented their careers but also created a watchable, fun and emotional movie for the mainstream audience.
Queen made the significant decision to connect with their audiences. It might appear to be a simple idea, but by breaking the 4th wall and setting up their compositional journey with their fans in mind, allowed them to bring their audiences in to the performance itself and connect themselves with thousands, forming a mass of energy, people and song in the Arena! A huge nucleus of sound and power. ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We are the Champions’ were key; they both featured simple sing-a-long melodies and a physical routine that the fans could easily follow and of course the impact was huge! Queen created a formula that impacted their fans and their performances in a way that no other band was able to create at the time! And I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been there and taken part!
However, it seems I understand their formula more than I’d realised and whilst sitting in the cinema last week enjoying Bohemian Rhapsody, it all became very clear that I am, in fact, trying to create exactly the same impact with my audience but through Rock Choir! I’ve witnessed the power of people coming together and releasing themselves to the music. It’s an energy and emotional power like no other. Rock Choir; it’s exactly what we all experience by being part of it. The Members, our Rockies, our unique audience that take part in a journey, where we educate, inspire and lead them through the unique Rock Choir formula which allows them to totally immerse themselves safely and transparently in the experience of song. Part of the formula is for me to carefully choose feel-good and emotional pop songs, create new vocal versions of and subtle routines with them and present them to the Rockies in a way they can learn, enjoy and perform them with confidence. We then come together, en-masse, to experience the huge emotional high of performing, singing, moving and breathing as 1 entity. Whether it’s a local or regional event or one of our larger National arena events, the experience is like nothing else. It’s energising, dramatic and emotional improving our well-being and mental health leaving us all on a Rock Choir high! Those who have witnessed Rock Choir react in the same way – that the joy, happiness and energy in the venue is overwhelming reducing many to tears. The BBC said the same at the Proms in the Park this year, that the atmosphere was electric and it was because of Rock Choir!
‘We Will Rock You!’ Yes, we will Freddie – just like you did! Queen – thank you for the inspiration and thank you for the music!!