Queen legend Brian May to perform at Four Four Time Festival


27 January 2014

Kerry and Brian
Kerry Ellis and Brian May

The term legend is somewhat overused these days but there are some people the word just fits. This is most definitely the case when it comes to Brian May CBE. The rock superstar has enjoyed a hugely successful music career spanning more than four decades, and is of course, best known for his role in the global phenomenon Queen.

But it’s a somewhat different, more stripped back Brian May who will entertain the crowds at Buxton Opera House next month as part of the Candlelight Concerts tour with West End star Kerry Ellis.

The duo, whose collaboration began back in 2002, when Kerry landed a part in the Queen musical We Will Rock You, are no stranger to touring together, but this show promises a new experience. Filled with songs from the West End to Queen classics and everything in between, the Candlelight Concerts tour provides Brian and Kerry with the chance to perform in more intimate settings than they are used to.

“It really is a mixed bag,” Kerry explains. “We change it from night to night, throw in different songs, take out songs depending on how we feel . We get to chat, and it is intimate and I think people feel that they’re seeing something that is quite unusual. There’s no smoke and mirrors, there’s no backing tracks, it’s all very real.”

Brian added: “The big epic stuff I do enjoy, but a song is a song and in a sense this is the way I started out. The simplicity is very attractive somehow, you know you can really get to the core of a song and the songs come across very powerfully. It’s a very nice feeling to be interacting and much more personal. I can be a rock star, I can do all that, and there is a bit in the show where it gets quite epic and quite loud, but it has this huge range because you can bring it right back down so you can hear a pin drop.”

Speaking of his time in Queen, while the band was in its heyday before the sad death of the flamboyant and hugely talented front man Freddie Mercury, Brian said: “It was amazing, we were incredibly lucky and sometimes I wake up and pinch myself and think did that really happen and it’s still happening.”

The Candlelight Concerts comes to Buxton Opera House on February 19 as part of the Four Four Time Festival. For tickets, priced £40, contact 0845 127 2190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.