“A Night at the Opera is a masterpiece, every song provides a unique challenge. A high level of musicianship, great songs and you get to be incredibly dandy for the evening. Like most Queen records as soon as you hit play you’re locked in listening to every details for the entire album…” Steve Hensby (Tracksuit).
24+ years since the death of Freddie Mercury, Queen’s legacy – one of rock’s biggest and most controversial bands – is still completely inseparable from him. And so it should be; Queen begins and ends with Mercury, a creative genius who embodied the band’s identity encouraging music that was expressive and experimental, elaborative and mind blowing.
Formed in 1970, Queen became one of the world’s biggest stadium rock bands by the early 80s. Creating music unimaginable to most other artists their energy, innovativeness and flamboyant vibe drew millions upon millions in. Queen revolutionised music – whilst still creating their own unique genre of ballad rock that was complex and spine-tingling, heavily influencing generations to come with music that will always remain timeless.
The Newport Hotel’s exclusive Record Club recognises some of Western Australia’s most iconic and beloved musicians. Boosting the local music in a very promising light, the next chapter of season 3 pays tribute to Queen’s A Night at the Opera with some of Perth’s hottest talent. You can read more about The Newport Record Club and Co-Founder’s Steve Parkin and Malcolm Clark’s insight into the juicy details here.
Queen’s A Night at the Opera will be performed in all its entity Thursday 24th September at The Newport Record Club. For details and ticket information make sure you visit the event page here.”Expect hard rock, falsetto singing, galileos, dandy piano-playing, operatic harmonies, epic guitar solos, guitarmonies, a few more galileos dear and lots, lots more. But, we want to keep it a surprise, darling!”
Meet the Stars Behind the Band
Coming together solely for this night, the group have all played together in previous projects. Steve Hensby (Tracksuit) Brendan Tompsett and Elysia Murphy performed Pink Floyd’s The Wall in the first round of the Record Club.
“Steve and I also played in The Beatles’ Abbey Road in the second series”, says Elysia. Steve is a singer, guitarist and songwriter in the local scene. He performs with his rock band, Tracksuit and also does solo gigs around town to perform his acoustic material. He’ll be giving away copies of Tracksuit’s latest album on the night”.
“I play keys and sing with local ska band Special Brew, who are currently in the studio recording their third album. Bassist Brendan and drummer Nick Dudman are relatively new to Perth but have played in numerous bands in New South Wales and the UK respectively”.
Released in 1975, Queen’s A Night at the Opera” is definitely a personal favourite of mine. Featuring tracks like You’re My Best Friend and Bohemian Rhapsody, how could you really go wrong!? But it was more than that; letting loose on the album Queen were far from afraid to express themselves and in turn, created the most operatic rock song. Ever.
“My parents played a lot of Queen when I was growing up so I have known them for as long as I can remember. Their musicianship was outstanding and I’m a big fan of their no boundaries / anything goes approach to making records. Why not have a ballet-inspired song in a rock and roll record?”, says Steve. Their attention to details, the arrangements are massive yet every note and sound means something at the same time. It’s a very musical album. I’m also influenced by their approach to live shows. Why would people pay money to see four people with their heads down playing music at a live show? They might has well just listen to the album”.
“We picked this album because of the challenge”, explains Elysia. “It’s such a classic album to be performed, but I also thought, kind of rhetorically, who’d do Queen? Then I remembered Steve doing not a bad Freddie at karaoke one night, so I thought he could sing and play the guitar and I could play piano – although I hadn’t realised just how difficult the piano parts would be! I have a whole new respect for Freddie Mercury!”
Queen’s A Night at the Opera is a masterpiece according to Steve. “Every song provides a unique challenge. A high level of musicianship, great songs and you get to be incredibly dandy for the evening. Like most Queen records as soon as you hit play you’re locked in listening to every detail of the entire album, quite similar to listening to classical music. They were hitting their stride with Sheer Heart Attack and then just blew everything out of the water with A Night at the Opera. Pulling out all the stops, but Unlike Queen II, which is a solid album, it managed to keep a pop sensibility throughout. The difference between the first two songs alone had me sold. A Day at the Races is also an amazing record but I think A Night at the Opera is a nose in front if only for the fact that it came first. Furthermore, it’s named a Marx Brothers movie”.
A Night at The Newport Record Club with Queen
“The Record Club is a really great experience to play with different people to bring albums that you all love and respect to life”, says Elysia. “You have to listen to the music really carefully to work out the different parts so you get to know the album on a whole new level. I love it as an audience member, as there’s such a diverse range of music represented and it gives you a chance to hear albums by such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and The Beatles performed live, when it wouldn’t be possible to hear the real thin. Also it’s only $15 to hear some amazing musicians play each week – what’s not to like!?”
“The Record Club is jolly good fun! Working out parts note for note and going for certain sounds is something every musician should do. Now you get to do that in front of an audience”, encourages Steve. “It’s also a great opportunity to play music with a bunch of different people and be part of a unique, special evening”.
Season 3 of The Newport Record Club is nearly finished! Make sure you come down on the closing night for the season – Bob Marley!!! Follow The Newport Record Club on Facebook for all the latest updates and to stay ahead and ready for season 4.