Have you ever wondered what happened to the musical talent once a top selling show closes in the West End?
The band in We Will Rock You has performed in more than 4,000 shows over 12 years. But at the end of last month the production, featuring the songs of Queen closed. What will the musicians do now?
Echoing Freddy Mercury’s own sentiments – The Show Must Go On, guitarist David Young put together a new group – Space Elevator.
Lead vocals are provided by The Duchess with music from Young, a former member of Curved Air; Elliot Ware – Keys (The Who/Rock of Ages/We Will Rock You/Sunny Afternoon); Neil Murray – Bass (Whitesnake/Black Sabbath/Gary Moore/The Brian May Band/We Will Rock You) and Brian Greene – Drums (George Benson/Curved Air).
Collectively, members of Space Elevator have been involved with the show on and off since the very beginning, either as musical director, full time band members or as guitar and keys deputies.
They have also worked on other productions including Rock of Ages, Rocky Horror, Wicked, Footloose, The Sound of Music, Flashdance and Quadrophenia but now the focus is on the new music.
Pit musicians are usually the unseen heroes and the repetition is gruelling, playing six nights a week plus two matinees, and for musicians on these shows the fear of losing one’s edge is ever-present.
When asked why Queen and Ben Elton’s show was such a success, they believe it is simply the music.
It “is universally known and loved. The music is loud and the audience gets swept away every night and at the end it’s like being at a rock concert, with the chance to stand up, stomp and clap and go nuts.
“Queen wrote songs that speak to all classes, all generations. They write songs to be sung on football terraces and also on the West End stage.
“Such a vast catalogue of instantly catchy accessible music! The lyrics are witty and poignant and uplifting.
“Also it shows great respect to Freddie’s memory. He was the greatest front man ever and this is acknowledged in the story”.
The Duchess added: “The music of Queen massively influenced Space Elevator’s sound, Freddie’s voice and Brian’s guitar especially, plus the bombastic theatrical sound of Queen.
“The song ‘We Are The Losers’ is a complete homage to the sound of Queen with an obvious nod to We Are The Champions!”