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Gig Review: Prague Queen Concert, Mumbai

The Queen cover band provided a large dose of nostalgia to attendees last week

Sunil Sampat Oct 11, 2018

Prague Queen in Mumbai. Photo: Courtesy of Fourth Dimension Media

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“The Show Must Go On” is an old adage from show business. Prague Queen, a cover band for iconic U.K. rockers Queen ensured that the mercurial music from a generation ago would linger a while longer. Queen will go down in the history of classic rock as one of the most popular of all.

Rock music seems to have a short shelf life vis a vis it’s popularity. While the young generation listening is often engrossed in this music, the next generation takes just a cursory interest in it. It is a sad loss of sometimes very fine music. Classical music and mainstream jazz don’t suffer from this phenomenon. Somehow, those genres of music become, like classic literature, immune to the passage of time. There are exceptions, of course.  The music of Elvis Presley and The Beatles seem to be popular beyond their generation. They have become evergreen.

The concert of Prague Queen thus provided the generation of the Nineties with a large dose of nostalgia. The auditorium was packed (except for 4 seats conspicuously unoccupied in a full house) and the ‘mature’ audience couldn’t get enough of the music!

The band was excellent. Their vocalist, Jaroslav Bresky, who filled the rather large boots of Freddie Mercury, did a superb job. His sense of clothing — from the signature all white attire, movements and musical timing was a reasonable facsimile of the ‘real thing’ as was his singing accent. It is likely that most in the audience had never heard the original Queen in concert. The experience of seeing and hearing one’s favorites live was an added dimension for the fans, enhancing their experience. There was singing, clapping and even dancing in the aisles while the band belted out, “We Are The Champions,” “Radio Gaga,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and more from Queen’s long catalog.

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One couldn’t miss the irony of a rock band in performance with the name ‘Vidyadhar Gokhale Rangmanch’ adorning the stage at Mumbai’s Rang Sharda auditorium. I don’t think the stage had experienced anything as musically energetic as Prague Queen in all its years!  But, it worked well.

Is there scope for ‘cover’ bands in Mumbai? One would say a definite yes, with a couple of provisos. First, the band quality has to be top notch, as was Prague Queen. The second is the relevance of the original band in contemporary context. Fringe and obscure bands will not work, one feels. But well done to the organizers, Fourth Dimension, who picked out a fine band to pay tribute to one of the mega rock acts and brought joy to its fans in Mumbai. After all, imitation is the best form of flattery!

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