Review: Anthems, City Hall

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FOLLOWING top 20 debut album Anthems from singer/actress Kerry Ellis, produced and co-starring Queen legend Brian May, the pair are touring an impressive stage version.

Queen sold 150m albums and made millions so why would Brian want to endure the rigours of touring again? The answer lies in the wonderful Kerry - since her West End debut at 22 her reputation has flourished in musicals such as Wicked, Chess and We Will Rock You, on which much of Anthems is based.

A not quite sold out venue was inevitably littered with Queen fans and Kerry passed the first test when, in Brian’s words, she ‘slaughtered’ Somebody To Love.

A mix of rock and musical classics, it had the feel of a theatre show with Kerry going through six costume changes, giving Brian a chance to stretch his guitar strings with two instrumentals before singing Love Of My Life joined by 2,000 ‘backing singers’.

With a talented band including Queen drummer Roger Taylor’s son Silas, Kerry and Brian performed We Will Rock You complete with arm choreography and clapping, Defying Gravity for which Kerry got the first of several standing ovations.

The poignant No One But You, which May wrote in dedication to the late Freddie Mercury and Kerry sang beautifully. Tonight was more a magnificent celebration of some amazing songs.

Sean Bruce