​A sold out show at Abingdon, with a crowd more than ready for ‘Freddie’ and the boys. Claudio Desideri as the icon himself ‘Freddie Mercury’ worked the mic, the stage and the crowd from the very beginning. Performing the hits, one after another and feeding the audience exactly what they wanted.
Hard and fast! Bang! Seven Seas of Rye. Bang! A Kind Of Magic. Bang! Somebody To Love. Claudio tore up the stage with energy and enthusiasm. Was he a Freddie soundalike? Not quite, but he wants you to believe its Knebworth 1986 and for the best part of it all, you actually do. Along with Nathan on guitar, Daniel on bass, John on drums and Tom on keyboards, Flash worked a set giving the very best of Queen music, taking every opportunity to bring the audience in. This is what the Abingdon crowd wanted and this is what they were going to get. For 2 solid hours!

For those of us young enough to remember or were lucky enough to have seen Queen live, we are familiar with the few odd notes that lead into 'Freddie' playing the opening of Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a little disappointing that Claudio doesn’t play the piano, but  having said that Bohemian was played in its entirety and showed other tribute bands why they had been chosen to play the Northcourt. 

Having seen a few Queen tributes it is clear there are always two characters that stand out. 

First one is ‘the Freddie’ and the second is the ‘hair of the Brian May’, but I have to admit, the wig on Nathan Mathers looked pretty damn good. For the record, I asked him later and it’s made of human hair.
Flash: A Tribute To Queen, showed the Northcourt that the music of Queen lives on 25 years after the death of the icon.

Even with Adam Lambert and Paul Rodgers now 'playing the part', there can be only one Freddie Mercury, but Claudio Desideri is a worthy contender for one of the best. For a man of only 33 years, the best is yet to come, but then who wants to live forever!

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