We Will Rock You in 2005

Let’s do a flashback. Back to August 2005. And back to a serendipitous encounter. I was very young (just 22) and I had hardly set foot in another country. I was studying to become a teacher and I again/still lived with my mum. Never had I been to London, let alone on my own. It was before the discovery of Hanny’s Voorwerp. Galaxy Zoo hadn’t even been invented by Chris Lintott yet. I had never heard of Chris before, nor had I ever watched an episode of The Sky at Night. So it was before I had met my English friends too, including Brian May. Safe to say, life was different back then. I was already a fan of Queen though.

In fact, I had seen them play live for the first time that year in April (from the front row in Antwerp) which had been stupendous. Ever since, I’ve kept an eye on Brian’s website for news and I remember reading (in my room) about how We Will Rock You would soon break the record of Longest Running Live Show at the Dominion Theatre. Brian, Roger and Ben would attend and I was on my summer break. The show was in its fourth year, so it was about time I went to see it. I went downstairs and excitedly told mum what I had just decided: “I’m going to London next month to see the Queen musical. On my own. Okay?”

Now this was right after the bombings in the capital city of England. But I wasn’t surprised mum said ‘sure’ indeed. I mean, she figured the chances of that happening again in the same city would be very slim (and after all, she did also let me go to a Bon Jovi concert when I was 16 – no, I can’t complain). My gran, who was still amongst us back then, was a little more worried. But mainly because she couldn’t speak English and assumed it would all be very difficult. My uncle jokingly added if I had a map zoomed in to streetlights, knowing my lack of sense of direction. (Remember this was also before smart iPhones appeared).

I had planned it all well: a hotel, the tickets to the show and I indeed had a map of London. I took the ferry and had to stay overnight in a B&B in Hook of Holland too. (I had written it all down in my notebook). I remember thinking how beautiful everything was, but that hasn’t changed in almost a decade. It was a hot day and I remember chatting outside with some other fans. I also have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect of this musical, especially after having seen the boys in a stadium. But the cast quickly blew me away and I was convinced.

I had been watching the show from the stalls, a few rows from the stage, with Brian, Roger and Ben right in front of me. During the break I coincidentally ended up talking to a lovely guy, who would became a friend later on. Afterwards, Brian, Roger and Ben took the stage to receive their awards and there was an after party. Unexpectedly, my new friend took me and introduced me to Brian, giving me the chance to congratulate him on an amazing show. It was also the evening I met this lovely guy called Chris, who told me he was working on a book together with Brian. He couldn’t tell me the title at that point yet though.

(Can you imagine his surprise when we met again at Patrick Moore’s house for an interview in 2008 and I told him I was that girl? And can you imagine my surprise when he told me he actually remembered that evening? He just hadn’t put the two together yet, of that Queen fan reading on Brian’s site about his Galaxy Zoo project and, well, me. He jokingly added if someone ever found out we had already met they’d think my discovery was a set-up. Well, there you have it).

Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever asked Brian if he remembers that night. I guess I always assumed not, with him meeting so many people all the time. My new friend recently reminded me of it though. This was at the after party of the very last show, which prompted me to this flashback for my diary. The day I fell in love with WWRY. In between I’ve seen the show many times and I took a few pictures on these occasions. I will make a note about the last show too, but here’s first a set of pictures taken back that memorable day in 2005 (you can tell by the pictures it has been that long).

London 14

London 15

London 44

London 61

London 62

London 63

London 65

London 66


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