Quod oculus meus videt

By GrahamColling

Centenary Square Fountains

We headed into Birmingham in the late afternoon on the train for an early evening meal and then a show called Queen Rhapsody at the Old RepTheatre.  For the first time in a few months the fountains in Centenary Square were back in use.  It’s the first time we’d seen them in the dark, which brought a different interest to the scene.

The show was a tribute to Queen.  Certainly the band made every effort to channel their inner Freddie, Brian, Roger and John and for many of the die hard fans they were in raptures as they delivered iconic song after iconic song.  On either side of us ladies of differing ages were standing, gyrating and singing the words as each song was performed.  Before long their inhibitions were overcome and they ran down the aisle to the front of the stage to dance at the feet of their gods.

As entertainment it was a pleasurable couple of hours.  My mind did wander from time to time, wondering whether the artists were actually playing their instruments all of the time.  Freddie’s piano playing was shielded by turning the instrument so that the keyboard was hidden to the majority of the audience.  His hand movements were often out of sync with the piano playing.  When he came out playing electric guitar, it was quite evident that it was merely a part of his performance and held little correlation with the sound coming from the speakers.  We reminisced of a holiday some 30 or more years ago and entertainment from a three piece band at the hotel.  It dawned on us after a few minutes that every song started by the keyboard player pressing the enter key of the laptop next to him. Often he was too slow to reach the piano keyboard before the sound issued from the speakers. It was the first time we were aware of the new technology, where recorded music didn’t come from vinyl, CD or tape.

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