Queen reign again

Queen reign again

Marc Martel

Queen Extravaganza on stage

First published in Entertainments
Last updated
by , Reporter

EMULATING the sound of rock legends Queen is no mean feat.

But the band’s drummer Roger Taylor has set about creating a tribute act that has all the skill and panache of the original band.

Queen Extravaganza is fronted by French-Canadian singer Marc Martel, who is originally from Montreal but has lived in the music city of Nashville for the last 12 years.

Martel said working with Taylor and singing songs first performed by the legendary Freddie Mercury has been an “honour and a privilege”.

Fans will be able to see the band on stage at Salisbury City Hall on Saturday, September 20.

Martel said: “I am very excited about coming to the UK and Salisbury, it will be my second time in the country but the first in the city.

“The thing I am most looking forward to doing when we come to Salisbury is visiting Stonehenge.”

To form the band Taylor put wannabe Queen singers through a gruelling three-stage audition process.

“He started the band back in 2011 and a friend saw the advert and forwarded the application on to me,” said Martel.

“It was at a time when my band, Downhere, had come to a natural end after 12 years of moderate success. Then this opportunity came up with Roger Taylor forming a tribute act.

“It was key that Roger Taylor had formed it, I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

As part of the audition process Martel had to upload a video to the web performing a Queen song, his version of Somebody to Love became a viral sensation, amassing eight million YouTube hits.

He added: “For all the success that video had, the funny thing about the song was that everybody commented saying how untidy my room was.

“The reason was I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much so by having a messy room I was keeping my expectations down.”

After making it into the band they played a world tour in 2012, including a performance on the final of American Idol.

Martel says his favourite number is the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody but he says his favourite to play at a concert is Show Must Go On.

He said: “The best one to play is Show Must Go On, I always think the performance has gone well if the crowd reacts well to that one.”

Queen Extravangaza will be at Salisbury City Hall on September 20. Tickets cost £24.50 and can be bought at cityhallsalisbury.co.uk or 01722 434434.

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