A Queen Story - from the UK, in 1974 and beyond

On 21st Feb’74, Queen first appeared on the UK chart show, Top of the Pops, at short notice (after David Bowie cancelled). They played their new single Seven Seas of Rhye - which was rush released on 23rd February.

Queen appeared twice more, on TOTP - playing Seven Seas … - on 14th & 28th March. The single peaked at No. 10, on 7th April. Not sure which performance I saw, but its was one of these 3. I was impressed enough to buy the single, of Seven Seas of Rhye.

The album, Queen II, had been released on 7th March 1974. I bought that, too.

Up to this point, my musical tastes had been based on UK Singles, rather than Albums. Queen II changed that.

I was now a confirmed Queen Fan. Not sure how I found out that Queen were playing at Coventry Theatre, later that same year. I do remember that my Mother found out for me what day the tickets went on sale. I had never bought a ticket to a concert before. I understood you needed to queue…? True, but there were not many Queen fans in Coventry, in late 1974. I think there were 5 or 6 other people…? Again, not having ever bought a ticket to a concert before, I though that a seat right at the front was a good idea…

On 11th October, Killer Queen was released as a single.

On 3rd November 1974 I saw Queen at Coventry Theatre. Being on the front row was both good and bad. They were very loud - and I got ‘drowned’ in Dry Ice, pouring off the stage into the Stalls. Great view of course. Impressed…? What do you think…? Abso-bloomin-lutely. Blown Away. Literally.

I walked up from Coventry Theatre, afterwards, to get my bus home, from Broadgate, with my ears still ringing. I was just 16 years old.

On 8th November 1974, the album Shear Heart Attack was release. My Mother had a friend who worked in the WH Smith’s records shop, so it was pre-ordered for me - with Staff Discount… lols.

Skip forward about 12 months, and the whole thing repeated, this time with the Night at the Opera Album & Tour and a strange single called Bohemian Rhapsody.

Lesson learned - got tickets in the Circle this time, again at Coventry Theatre (for 16th Nov’75). And queuing was involved - still not a huge number of fans - but dozens for sure.

At the time, I thought Queen were good - but I didn’t realize how good they were. They were just becoming well known - and the Sing Alongs with Freddie were still in the future. They were basically still a good Hard Rock - Prog group, but the clues were there, on where they would be heading.

I didn’t see Queen again for a number of years. They moved on to larger venues, further away. It wasn’t until the NEC in Birmingham began doing concerts, that I saw them again. The first was in I think Hall 4 - all on the flat - could see much. But I think a year or so later, the Arena (Hall 7) was ready - and now Queen that we know - the Stadium Band, with all the Sing Alongs was there. Think I saw them twice there…?

My final Queen gig (I am not counting a later Q+PR show) was the Milton Keynes Bowl show - on the Hot Space Tour. Hmmm… But still Good In Parts…! Heart were one of the support bands, who I came to a lot later.

But it all started back in 1974. At that concert.
3rd November 1974, Coventry Theatre, Front Stalls, £1-75.

Thank you, to all those involved. To my Mother for helping to get my Ticket. To fellow Queen fans, who came along - and got blown away too. And to the band Queen - Freddie, Brian, John & Roger.

(Thanks to the power of the Interwbz enabling me to find & confirm all the dates here - my memory may be good, but not that good.)


Thank you for sharing your memories. Sadly, I never saw them live.


I associate Queen with a friend from my neighbourhood, who I’d known since primary school. We went to ‘big school’ together and travelled on the bus each way although after 16 he went for the Arts, me for the sciences. Huge Queen fan with concert tales, programmes and ‘merch’ to share/show us. Sadly killed on a building site at the age of 26 by someone else’s incompetence.

It took me years to appreciate Queen, but whether you ‘got’ them or not, Bohemian Rhapsody made a massive impact. A seminal moment in music history, like Wuthering Heights, or Space Oddity and nothing was quite the same afterwards.

I also associate ‘We Will Rock You’ with the ball game in the US - Yankee Stadium on a warm summer evening, cold beer and hot dog in hand, wife and friends and just taking it all in, and I note that these Queen tracks resonate with my teenage kids and their friends today.


I think I saw them 5 times… maybe 6…? I didn’t realise back then, how lucky I was - how good they really were. They were just Queen… :slightly_smiling_face:

Most of the other bands that I like and/or saw, were also pretty good too… Was sort of ‘normal’ back in the 70’s - a great time to be into music.

Thats a great shame… :cry:

I still have the concert tales and the programmes… I recall taking a slightly younger friend to see them at the NEC. He knew them from the Live Killers LP’s. He was stunned to realise that were even better than the records…! (Queen were apparently never happy with Live Killers…)

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A fan from their first record and i did see them twice. First time in Ahoy Rotterdam and this was a life changing moment for me. For me Fred, Brian, John and Roger where equally important. Second time was in Leiden, this was not a good concert. But i always followed Queen and i will always will be absolute Queen fan. I hope that John will write a book about his life in Queen. This year Queen will 50 years young.
Still their first four albums give me goosebumps. The black Queen rules.

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Part of the Day at the Races European tour - 17th May 1977 - ? Or News of the World - 19th/20th April 1978…?

Leiden - The Game European tour - 27th Nov 1980…?

(info from queenconcerts dot com)

Great story, it brings back some great memories!

That was my first Queen gig and my first stadium gig. I walked from home (about 3 miles each way).

I also saw them at Knebworth in 1986, now that was a great concert.

More recently, I secretly bought tickets for me and Mrs R (she’s a big Adam Lambert fan). I had to wait two years due to lockdown postponements. Not quite the same without Freddie, but still quite a show. My first big live show in 30 years.


I recall considering going to the Leiden gig, but it did not materialise. If I recall correctly it was in a hall which was used for cattle markets but at some point also for Leiden law school exams. Always stank of cow urine. Place no longer exists.

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Yes both dates are correct.

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Yes the Groenoordhal was not the right place for a Queen concert.

Neither was Birmingham NEC Hall 4… … (think it was the Crazy Tour - 24th Nov’79)

Couldn’t really see the stage or band - totally flat floor - and a big crowd of people… :thinking:

PS. Thanks for all the positive comments… :slightly_smiling_face:

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Great memories. My only Queen gig was 9 August 86 at Knebworth, sadly Fred’s last stand. Never my greatest band but they were on fire that night.

Always loved Queen. Even when the other kids used to take the piss out of me for it!

They used to live at the end of our street for a while.

I saw them in Hyde Park in 1976. However I was 8 at the time so didn’t really know what I was doing there. Apart from watching all the fights in the crowd.

Saw Brian and Roger when they first took in Adam Lambert a few years back and that was pretty good, playing the songs with only relatively limited amounts of gig pizazz going on.

Saw them again last year at the O2. Way too big and more of a theatrical show than anything else, quite good fun but felt too remote.

Oh and Mary Austin had two of my cats kittens!


Lovely story @IanRobertM and almost exactly mirrors my discovery and life long support of the band. I recall playing Subbuteo when Seven Seas came on TOTP - my draw dropped and never recovered.

I was lucky enough to see the band in the UK and Europe, probably 20 or so shows with Freddie across all the tours - Earls Court with the ‘Crown’ stage for Day at the Races and Ally Pally on the Crazy Tour were absolute highlights - there are some good downloads of each show if you scour the web.

I’ve seen all of the solo projects, tours with Paul Rogers (too ‘rock’) and Adam Lambert (a star) as well as occasional low key local shows featuring them as guests. Taking my daughter to the revived WWRY show in the summer - for some reason, she is a big fan too!

I love @Jamiewednesday 's story about the kittens. Freddie famously loved cats and he doted on Mary Austin. Thanks for starting the thread Ian.

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Queen, according to Fred (rehearsal paraphrasing for “One Vision”):

“One prick, two turds, John Deacon”. :joy:

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I was living in Ealing in 1974. Friday night we often sloped off to Imperial College for their Friday night live band.

This interesting support band turned up with some bloke with half a microphone. No one had any idea who they were

The rest is as they say history

Also Newcastle Brown was 10p a pint bottle , it may have helped :grinning:


Thats a great story… Thank you…!

I only saw Queen once, at the Live Aid concert at Wembley stadium. The day had started quite poorly, bad soundstage weak performances. Queen came on and set the place on fire and created the atmosphere for the rest of the day. They simply ripped into it and engaged the crowd immediately. I have watched it on video, but to be there was a lesson in performance from Freddie and co.

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They took it seriously and had rehearsed their set. There is also a story that their sound engineer had the limiters switched off on the PA… :open_mouth:

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