Adam In QAL Concert Review Quotes


Mini-Tour 2012


Evening Standard - July 12, 2012 (London, UK, HMV Hammersmith)


With singer Freddie Mercury unavailable and bassist John Deacon uninterested, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor’s decision to keep milking the Queen cow seemed based more on stubborn, out of touch egos than legacy burnishing.

Not any more: not after last night’s London debut of Queen + Adam Lambert before an audience including Bob Geldof, Channel 4’s Phil Spencer, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Matt Lucas. For the first time since Mercury’s death in 1991, Queen look energised.

Chastened by two patchy tours and one dismal album with uncomfortably stiff vocalist Paul Rodgers, May, 64, and Taylor, 62, have gone for broke. Yet, recruiting an American Idol loser young enough to be their grandson, suggested karaoke rather than renewal. Tellingly, feeble ticket sales forced the humiliating cancellation of 2012’s Sonisphere festival which they were scheduled to headline.

Despite everything, even Lambert’s Jedwardian quiff, gold has been struck. Dressed initially in leather and tinsel, Lambert understands Queen. He embraced the ludicrousness of the ghastly We Are The Champions as willingly as the chunky funkiness of Another One Bites The Dust and Radio Ga Ga’s sweetness, but he also grasped that, innate daftness notwithstanding, Queen rocked. So he threw himself into Keep Yourself Alive, the fearsome I Want It All and a thrillingly speeded up We Will Rock You, which made an unnecessary encore reappearance at its original pace.

Lambert sizzled, but when he left May and Taylor to fend for themselves, the evening sagged. May may have the startled air of a man caught trying on Germaine Greer’s hair, but his acoustic interlude was dreary and his guitar solo interminable. A ruddy faced version of Terry Venables these days, Taylor might have left all the singing to Lambert and his drum solo in the garage.

Still, such are the whims of men repeatedly (and correctly) described by Lambert as “rock royalty”. If May and Taylor have an iota of common sense left, they will sign up Lambert for the long live haul and a new album.