As tribute acts go, there are few bigger shoes to fill than those of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. But it’s a job Melbourne-born Craig Pesco has taken on, touring the world in the Queen show It’s A Kinda Magic for the past eight years. Thankfully, his performance -” described by some as more of a -˜channelling’ -” does the late, great Mercury justice.
People always say, -˜They’re such big shoes to fill, how did you think you could do it?’ , Pesco told the Star.
But I never felt really felt the pressure that much -” I’ve always looked at it more as a lot of fun.
Freddie always had so much fun when he was up on stage, so I just try to channel that as best I can.
Pesco said, like many, he only grew to fully appreciate Mercury’s gift as a showman after the gay singer’s 1991 death from AIDS-related pneumonia.
The fact that it was AIDS -” I mean, it was one of the early cases, you know. It shocked everyone when it happened. The album that came out after his death, Made in Heaven, which featured his last recordings, was what really turned me on to Queen.
Now, there’s no one like Freddie around in music. No one with the same sense of humour and sense of camp. That’s why I hold him in the highest regard.
It’s A Kinda Magic has the stamp of approval from Peter Freestone, Mercury’s personal assistant for the last 12 years of his life. Indeed, Freestone tours with the show, on hand to offer advice and keep the act as close to the real thing as possible.
He’s given me so many insights into Freddie’s life, on and off stage, said Pesco. I don’t think we’d be where we are without his input.
info: Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic plays at the State Theatre on July 10 & 11. Details: queen.itsakindamagic.com