A-Z of Dead Man Singing: Q

A-Z of Dead Man Singing: Q

40 days ago

Q is for Queen, who don’t get many mentions in Dead Man Singing, but who do crop up a couple of times. They would have been contemporaries of Dave’s on his way up, albeit ones whose career avoided the dip that derailed their fictional peer. I included their first album in the list of records Dave takes with him, partly because I thought Dave would have preferred it to their later ones, and partly for the irony of a man faking his own suicide selecting a record that opens with a track called ‘Keep Yourself Alive’.

Queen were almost – almost – my first ever concert. I saw an advert in the London Evening Standard and pestered my mum, who remained warily unconvinced. The next time I asked about going to see a gig, she relented but by then I had missed the chance of having an impressive answer to the ‘what was your first gig?’ question (now I have to admit that my first time was with Chris De Burgh, admittedly before he jumped the shark with ‘Lady In Red’, but still not one that carries anything like as many cool points. For what it’s worth, although I’m not really a fan of his anymore, it was a great gig and the first of my many visits to Hammersmith Odeon).

I did get to see Queen subsequently, at Wembley Stadium on the Kind of Magic tour in 1986. It was a perfect bill, four great bands who seemed to my ears to be ranked in the correct order. INXS opened the show, a year or two before their big breakthrough with ‘Need You Tonight’. Next up was the Alarm, a personal favourite of mine who never disappointed live, followed by one of the great party bands, Status Quo (another Q who feature in Dead Man Singing). And then, of course, messrs Taylor, Deacon, Mercury and May. It was a brilliant show, and although there are others that I would put before it in my list of personal favourite gigs, it’s one of my go-to options when I’m trying impress younger friends with my gig-going history (Chris de Burgh rarely gets mentioned in those situations).

What’s the best gig you ever went to? What is the one that consistently impresses other people? Are they the same gig?


The Smiths three times inside a year and there last gig at Brixton. Saw pogues a lot in late 80s including 4 st Patrick nights.

Leave a comment

Your comment will first need to be approved before it is visible.