Hymers College Music teacher, Lester Bartlett, and band ‘Killer Rhapsody’,along with additional special guests, put on a tremendous feel-good performance of some of Queen’s biggest hits last Friday (29th) at the Judi Dench Theatre, Hymers College.
With all proceeds going to four different charities: Help for Heroes, St Andrews Hospice Grimsby, Women’s Aid and Arafest, the night was bursting with passion, energy and fun. Songs ranged from ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ to ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’, with Lester’s costume efforts making his Freddie Mercury appearance simply hilarious.
Though the energy and comedy of the show were indisputable, Lester and the band’s sheer musicianship can’t be ignored- they all performed incredibly. Lester’s vocals and piano skill shone, especially throughout the tough ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which was performed without a flaw, and the audience were also treated with a fantastic electric guitar solo from tribute ‘Brian May’ that provided an entertaining interlude between two of the songs in the second half.
The performance also included, as promised, two ‘special guests’. Isobel Doyle and Rachel Wheatley, year ten pupils at Hymers College, performed a stunning rendition of Brian May’s ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’, with their flawless harmonies leaving their audience, and the band members, stunned.
As if the night wasn’t special enough, Lester also called upon the help of his own young children, Zach and Morgan, and a couple of other willing young helpers, to assist in the music making. Each band member had a ‘mini’ them in a recreation of Queen’s ‘The Miracle’ music video, with Lester’s youngest son mimicking his Dad’s Freddie Mercury role.
Their performance was heartwarming to watch, and for the rest of the night the youngsters took part in other songs, providing the audience with laughs, as well as vocal and percussive performances that were musically beyond their years. Their professionalism throughout the whole thing was simply incredible and brought a smile to everyone’s faces.
Every element of the show was perfectly executed: the music, the costumes, the light/sound effects and, of course, the astonishing individual efforts contributed by everyone involved.
Lester also performs on his own as ‘Mr Mercury’, and can be seen next on Sunday 14th July at The Monks Walk Pub in Beverley from 7pm. Following Friday’s stunning show, Queen fans big and small will not want to miss his future performances!
[Amelia Cutting – student]