On the 1st March 1974 Queen were on their way to Blackpool where fans eagerly awaited the band’s arrival at the Winter Gardens for their Queen II Tour, also known as the Spring 1974 Tour. Just a few miles from the venue the vehicle carrying the lighting rig broke down and the gig was nearly cancelled. In the end it was only delayed. Now, 45 years later, the resort's Queen-lovers await the arrival of the cult hit musical which features some of their biggest hits - We Will Rock You.
The 1974 concert in the Empress Ballroom was part of Queen's first UK headlining tour, promoting their album Queen II, with Liverpool hard rock band Nutz playing support.
Their signature style was emerging thanks to flamboyant back and white costumes designed by Zandra Rhodes.
One Facebook page devoted to Queen quotes Nutz lead singer Dave Lloyd as saying:
“These guys came out in nail varnish and fur coats and we thought how different they were from us. They seemed very sensitive and had a kind of grand plan and we were four crazy scousers. They were great, really friendly guys. They had no airs and graces.”
Throughout this major UK tour, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon varied the tracks and encore along the way.
The Winter Gardens set list is said to have included a track which had never been played live before - The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke. Two encores comprised covers of Jailhouse Rock, Shake Rattle and Roll, Stupid Cupid, Big Spender and See What a Fool I've Been - the B-side to their 1974 single Seven Seas of Rhye. For some shows fans sang God Save the Queen as they waited for the encore, which led to the band recording their own version to play at the finale as the tour progressed,
We Will Rock You is based on Queen’s greatest hits and a book by Ben Elton, with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor as music supervisors. it includes I Want to Break Free, Under Pressure, Who Wants to Live Forever, A Kind of Magic, Radio Ga Ga, Play the Game, Don't Stop Me Now, Another One Bites the Dust and of course We Will Rock You.
It tells the story of the Bohemians, a small group of freedom fighters in the year 2309, where earth is known as Planet Mall and there are no musical instruments. Together with heroes Galileo and Scaramouche they embark on a battle against the Globalsoft company and its boss, the Killer Queen, in a quest for freedom, love and a rebirth of the age of rock – a time called Rhapsody.
Since 2002 over 16 million theatregoers have been rocked by this show and you can see it here at the Opera House 6th-11th January 2020.