City: London, UK
Venue: Imperial College
Date: August 23, 1970


This is Barry Mitchell's first of 12 gigs as Queen's bassist.

All these years later, Barry has happily given interviews about his short stint with the band. One one occasion he recalled his audition about three before this show, and how they ran through a couple Smile numbers that would end up on Queen's debut album, as well as a few Hendrix songs.

He also recalls how the band rehearsed "quite fervently" for the gig, and how they were very nervous as they were playing for lots of friends. The band provided all the refreshments, including orange juice and popcorn (the popcorn was made in Brian May's flat, which Freddie later quipped was "bursting with popcorn"). Clearly Barry's memory is most excellent, as he was able to instantly recall specific details of 5 of the 11 shows he played with the band.

Barry recalls the band playing these songs at shows around this time period: Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, Keep Yourself Alive, Doin' Alright, Great King Rat, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Hangman, and a Rock 'n' Roll medley of cover songs.

When asked about other songs that were rehearsed but didn't make it to the shows or albums, he replied, "I donít remember any songs that we worked on not making it. I do remember a song that was not ready for performance by the time I left, My Fairy King." He said Jesus was also rehearsed but never performed with him.

Doin' Alright was performed like the guitar-oriented Smile version. Mitchell recalls, "It was probably the first song that I worked on with the guys, and we did it much the same way that Smile did it. Any development of it came after my departure." And when asked about his contributions to Liar's bass lines, he said, "Liar sounds much the same as when I played it." He also stated that Stone Cold Crazy, despite some stories that early live versions of the song were much slower in tempo, was played no slower in 1970 and '71 than what was eventually heard on Sheer Heart Attack in 1974.

Hangman was an original piece by Queen, but it never appeared on one of their albums. It would be performed on stage sporadically until 1976. According to numerous sources close to the band, a proper studio version of the song was never recorded. But there is an acetate of the band doing a quick run-through the song in the studio, probably from 1971, and surely with John Deacon on bass.

Over the years, the Rock 'n' Roll medley always included Jailhouse Rock, and would often include (or at least have references to) many other covers, including Tutti Frutti, Bama Lama Bama Loo, Shake Rattle and Roll, Stupid Cupid, Be-Bop-A-Lula, and Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On. These bits would usually be sung by Freddie over a continuing 12-bar blues, giving him the freedom to jump into whatever he'd like. The medley would feature in the show through 1977, and later versions of Jailhouse Rock in the 80s would often result in similar band jams. Big Spender would usually precede the medley in the earlier years, and Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting would feature in it a few times in 1977.




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