Queen rock Prince's Trust charity gala

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

  • Published

Veteran rockers Queen dusted off some rarely performed songs when they headlined a charity concert in London in aid of the Prince's Trust.

Brian May and Roger Taylor performed It's a Hard Life with Keane's frontman Tom Chaplin at the first Prince's Trust Rock Gala in more than 20 years.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the gig at the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday.

It was their first public event since Prince William revealed his engagement.

Other performers at the concert included Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones and Paloma Faith.

Midge Ure, Alison Moyet and Level 42's Mark King also took part, as did Jools Holland and Mike and the Mechanics.

Flamboyant artists

Chaplin described Queen as the "heroes of my youth", saying he had "notions of being a weirdly flamboyant frontman" like the late Freddie Mercury.

"My voice is in the same register as Freddie's was," he said. "It's such a buzz to be backed by the actual band themselves."

Queen also performed Seven Seas of Rhye, with Midge Ure on vocals.

The show ended with all the performers on stage for a rendition of the band's anthem, We Will Rock You.

The concert, which was filmed for a 3D TV broadcast, was hosted by comedians Rob Brydon and Barry Humphries, the latter in his role as Dame Edna Everage.

Image caption,
Paloma Faith was helped by the charity when she was younger

Status Quo opened the show with Rockin' All Over the World, as they did 25 years ago at the Live Aid concert.

"To me it felt like a little Live Aid tonight with Queen and Phil and Midge here," said Quo's Rick Parfitt.

According to Ure, though, the inclusion of newer artists like Jamie Cullum and Paloma Faith was a deliberate attempt to make the show appeal to all ages.

"It's a process of handing the baton on to a younger generation," said the Ultravox star, the event's musical director.

"We want some new young artists to get involved in the charity to carry it through for the next generation."

"I thought the audience might be a bit cynical about a new young act coming out among all these legends," said Paloma Faith.

"But they were really encouraging, and it was nice to see a lot of people singing along."

The singer revealed she had been a beneficiary of money from the Prince's Trust that financed an art project when she was a teenager.

The charity has worked with more than 600,000 people since it was founded in 1976.

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