VIDEO: Show goes on for Queen fans

FOR the founders of Aussie Queens - a fan club dedicated to rock band Queen - the upcoming Australian tour has been a long time coming.

David Leech and Nicole Pule-Leech. Video: Leigh Sharp

The rock group will tour Australia in August with Adam Lambert stepping into Freddie Mercury's lead singer shoes.

It is the first time since 1988 the band has toured Australia.

There was hope for a tour in 2005 when Paul Rodgers was singing with the band but Queen didn't make it as far as Down Under when the tour fell apart in South America.

President of Aussie Queens Nicole Pule-Leech and vice-president David Leech were devastated to miss out on seeing their favourite band again.

Indeed for David, trying to enjoy a Queen live show in Australia has always been a challenge.

"I missed the last time Freddie came out in 1985," he said.

"I had just started a new job and had only been there a week so I couldn't get the time off.

"I hadn't got my first pay check either, so it was really annoying."

David did manage to see Brian May in 1988 but without Mercury.

"When he didn't come out again and he died, I have been beside myself for 20 or 30 years," he said.

"I missed that one chance of seeing him but, still, the fact they're coming out again is just brilliant."

The respect for Freddie talents is clear for David with his favourite Queen work far from Bohemian Rhapsody and the many other huge hits the band released.

"For me my favourite (Queen album) would be Innuendo and the complexities of it," he said.

"All of Freddie’s later work, when you listen to him and see a person who knows he is dying but will keep giving everything he’s got until he dead. Which is what he did.

"Those last songs bring so much emotion. For a person who was almost dead (recording) the last album, he still has that voice, still has that brilliance."

The answer is much more straightforward for Nicole.

"Bijou. I walked down aisle to that song so it's really special to me," she said.

"The other is Under Pressure because I love John (Deacon's) base line."

After Queen cancelled its 2005 tour of Australia, Nicole and David formed Aussie Queens and petitioned the band to perform in Australia.

It was a chance for David and Nicole to prove how valued the band was by fans Down Under.

"I said if we really want them, we're going to have to prove to them that we want them and that they’ll sell out," Nicole said.

Rumours of the band preferring to not tour Australia after a 1974 tour when band members were booed are exaggerated, says Nicole.

Queen played at the Sunbury Pop Festival in 1974 alongside Daddy Cool and the Skyhooks.

The band was booed but finished its set with Freddie Mercury proclaiming "When we come back to Australia, we will be the biggest band in the world." Mercury was proven right in 1976 when the band returned to promote A Night At The Opera.

"The rumours of Queen hating (Australia) because of the summer of 1974 was all blown up," Nicole said.

"We knew it was just logistics and as we got further into (tempting Queen to return), we knew we had to go further.

"So we organised petitions and the Addy gave us our first article ("A quest for Queen").

"Our strategy was to use the media to get a voice and from that article we were able to roll on."

Whether Aussie Queens' determined hard work influenced the band's decision to tour Australia is unclear but Nicole and David feel like their hard work has paid off.

"People can say we had nothing to do with it but they know that’s bollocks because if we didn’t push, they wouldn’t have come," Nicole said.

"We haven’t had any input into this particular tour but we planted the seed back in 2005 and have been watering it since. All that needed to happen was for Queen to say yes.

"They have reformed now and I believe they have picked Australia because there’s been several attempts to get here already. It really sideswiped us, I just hope we can get a ticket."

American singer Adam Lambert has already proved capable of performing as well as Mercury with positive reviews from Queen's North American tour.

"Adam's a good singer and did a very good Queen show toward the end (of his American Idol season) when Brian (May) and Roger (Taylor) visited," David said.

"Adam was absolutely brilliant at singing Queen (but) Freddie is, for me, Queen. There's always going to be that sadness that I never got to see him. I would have loved to have seen him."

But what do David and Nicole say to fans suggesting the reformed Queen won't be worth the ticket price?

"If you’re going there expecting to see Queen like it was, you’ll be disappointed," David said.

"If you go there to see Queen as a memory, a hero, a part of life, then I think you will be absolutely delighted."

If you go there to see Queen as a memory... then I think you will be absolutely delighted. - David Leech

David said despite Brian May and Roger Taylor being the only original Queen members that will tour Australia, the recognisable sound will still be on show.

"The absolute greatness may have gone but they’re still great. It's still worth going just to see the remaining members and hear the music again," David said.

"You might think it’s not going to be right but you get in there and get in there and get involved and the songs come, the memories come and it becomes a part of your soul and reaches out to you.

"It feels like Freddie is reaching out to you.

"Their last tour they had Freddie appear on screen singing with the band. It was just magic. It sent chills up your spine."

For more information on Aussie Queens, visit their website at www.aussiequeens.com

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