Gary just has kind of magic
PUBLISHED: 11:55 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 May 2010
IT S time to go gaga with a rocking night for all Queen fans, as Gary Mullen and The Works hit the Gordon Craig Theatre. The band is on the road travelling from France to Switzerland as part of their tour, but we caught up with Gary to find out a bit mor
IT'S time to go gaga with a rocking night for all Queen fans, as Gary Mullen and The Works hit the Gordon Craig Theatre.
The band is on the road travelling from France to Switzerland as part of their tour, but we caught up with Gary to find out a bit more about the Queen tribute aces.
Gary, who has toured with One Night of Queen since winning the Grand Final of Stars in Their Eyes as Freddie Mercury in 2000, said: "After the show I spent two years touring on my own.
"I had to prove to people that I could do it and I wasn't just a one trick pony with one song to sing.
"I toured around clubs, hotels and nightclubs."
But after two years as a solo artist Gary decided to form a band as a real tribute to his favourite artists, Queen.
Alongside Gary is Davie Brockett on guitar, Billy Moffat on bass, drummer Jonathan Evans, and Martin Campbell on piano.
"I wanted guys with passion who weren't going to stand there looking bored - they had to play as Queen would play.
"It works better with a team, because you all know each other."
It was Gary's wife and mother who secretly sent off his application form to Stars in Their Eyes before he polled 864,838 votes in the live final, more than double the runner up and a record number of votes on the show.
He said:?"Winning was very unexpected - even today I can't tell you much about it.
"It felt like I was on the outside. I went home and said to my wife 'did I actually win that?'.
"I watch it back and I look like a rabbit caught in headlights. It was a weird experience."
A Queen fan since he was able to walk, Gary says he bought all the CDs, videos, and other paraphernalia. But what about his favourite Queen track?
"My favourite song differs but at the moments it's Somebody to Love - it has that gospel feel and I love performing it.
"Because the original has a choir and we don't, we say to the audience 'this is where you guys have to be the choir'.
"They really go for it and want to sing along."
It's a Kind of Magic also gets the audience going, says Gary.
"It seems to be the big ones that get the best reaction. We Will Rock You, Radio Gaga, and Bohemian Rhapsody are all favourites."
With their first American tour coming up, Gary and the band spend a lot of time on the road.
He said: "I love touring - we get to see so much of the world."
But Gary says he gets to speak to his wife and children every day.
"They support me 140 per cent, they want me to do it.
"If they didn't then I wouldn't be doing this."
The band enjoys meeting other Queen fans across the world, and while doing a job most would envy, Gary's feet remain firmly on the ground.
"This is the best job in the world.
"It's like a busman's holiday; sometimes I think we should really be doing some work."
After a strange experience on his last visit, Gary is looking forward to returning to Stevenage.
"Last time we were at the Gordon Craig I went for a wander and got lost.
"There's a theatre next door and they were doing the pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
"I opened a door and three dwarves came out holding lanterns.
"They asked where I was going and gave me directions.
"It was a very surreal experience - you couldn't write this stuff."
Gary, who professes to be his own worst critic, says that the band aim to make the show a little bit more special each time.
"We want to make the show bigger and better, change the music, the costumes.
"We want to stay at the top of our game and see how far we can go, how many countries we can visit.
"The show is two hours of rock with big lights and big sounds just like Queen used.
"We want people to come and have a good time.
"Don't just stand there and clap - dance, wave your hands, sing along - we want people to join in."
Gary Mullen and The Works will play the Gordon Craig Theatre on Friday, February 22, at 8pm.
Tickets priced at £17.50 are available by calling 08700 131030.