In the last of our band interviews, we caught up with Flash, who were the highlight of GlastonBARRY during the summer. You could feel the electricity from the performance, in one word, it was EPIC.
The good news is, they are coming back for Penarth Rocks and this is what they had to say!
Tell us about how the band started and got together, how long has it been going?
Flash has been going for around 15 years or so now, throughout that time I’ve meet and seen some great individual musicians, all musically inspired by members of Queen and most of them working with other Queen Tribute shows so we’ve gradually brought them all on board to form a best of the best Ultimate Queen Tribute show.
Freddie Mercury is one of the biggest iconic music artists of all time, was it difficult to find someone to be Freddie, both vocally and be a showman?
Our previous vocalist had to step down at the end of 2015 due to other work commitments and an expanding family, with our touring schedule it just didn’t allow for enough time with his family, so with around 40 shows already contracted in for 2016 the frantic search for a replacement began, we received many applications some from beginners to some from already established ‘Freddie Mercury’ solo acts or other Queen Tribute groups but looking for change, none we auditioned were suitable and to be honest we nearly gave up hope of finding anyone who could take on the unenviable task of replicating ‘Freddie Mercury’, as a last ditch attempt I expanded the search to Europe and by luck stumbled upon Claudio, he is the only one we auditioned that not only had the vocal ability and range to do the songs justice but who always had stage presence and the ability to connect with an audience.
— mack events (@Mack_Events) August 1, 2016
Speaking of queen, what are some of your favourite tracks?
This is always the trickiest question and the reason it’s always so hard putting together a set list for the show, there are just so many great songs to choose from, each one triggers its own memory or emotion, as a kid I can remember buying Greatest Hits from a record store in Cwmbran, waiting in the rain for Woolworths to open to buy The Miracle album and Roxene Records in Newport kindly giving me all their promotional material and the Innuendo Album, all experiences I guess are lost these days with digital downloads and why it’s so good to hear of the vinyl sales resurgence but I guess overall ‘These are the days’ is obviously the most emotional song, closely followed by ‘Who wants to live forever’, ‘Don’t stop me now’ is the song that just inspires everyone to just let themselves go at a show and is always a pleasure to watch from my position behind the drum kit but my favourite is probably ‘Somebody to love’, you don’t get to see that much stuck behind a drum kit, the lights are usually so bright on stage that past the first few rows of people it’s just darkness but this is the song where the crowd blinder lights usually kick in and you see hundreds if not thousands of hand swaying from side to side and that’s hell of a feeling, so on that point alone, definitely my favourite and the one I always look forward to.
I'm not a massive queen fan, and I've been to loads of gigs! But that queen tribute was one of the best acts I've ever seen!!#GlastonBARRY
— #Barrybados (@Barrybados) July 31, 2016
You played at Glastonbarry in the summer, what was your perception going into the event and what was it like on stage?
For me I was more excited about doing this show than any other last year and I’m not just saying that, this was coming home for me, I was born in South Wales many moons ago and I have so many great memories of Barry, although I’m always secretly devastated that the log-flume no longer works I always love coming back. No matter how many times we rehearse or the countless shows we perform, I think each of us feels the same, we are never complacent or expectant of a great response and we enter the stage in the same frame of mind every time, we always just put our all into every show and hope that from the enjoyment that we’re having it communicates through to the audience and everyone just enjoys themselves and the legacy of Freddie Mercury and Queen is such that it just about appeals to everyone.
What did you think of the crowd at Glastonbarry, everyone seemed to really enjoy your performance?
I loved every minute of it and wished it could have gone on longer, Ross and Matt behind the event know full they only have to mention a show back in South Wales and we’ll always be there for them, they have built up a fantastic event and I hope it keeps growing year on year for them and although we won’t be performing there again this year I will try, diary permitting, to come down with my kids and spend a day just enjoying the fantastic atmosphere.
You’re coming back for Penarth Rocks, what can people expect from you?
A night of pure enjoyment, simply hit after hit, anthem after anthem. We truly love what we do and we hope this comes through in the performance. Claudio is simply fantastic with an audience, he has what I feel Freddie had, an ability to connect with people, so whether you’re at the front or right at the back, your just as important and wants you to be part of the show.
Tickets are on sale now at just £15 from www.penarthrocks.com, Foxy’s Deli and Marcos Cafe.