City: Epsom, UK
Venue: Swimming Baths
Date: December 9, 1971


Brian May later recalled how he wanted to stay away from playing in pubs, because back when Smile played them, nobody actually listened to the band. Instead, Queen would rehearse for a few months and then play a gig at a University lecture theatre. They'd invite a hundred friends, and a few people from record companies - most of whom would never show up, and if they did, they didn't think much of the band. One of the few people who saw Queen's potential was John Anthony, who came to many shows during this period, and would end up getting them signed with Trident (a recording/studio/management package deal secured on November 1), and co-producing their eponymous debut album.

This late 1971 gig was their "showcase gig" as Brian later put it, as it was the first time they were able to muster up the cash to rent some decent gear. But to their dismay, with the venue being an indoor swimming pool, the sound was dreadfully bad with all the echo. According to Brian, Ronnie Beck from EMI Publishing attended the show, and met up with the band afterward. He told them that the sound was the most appalling thing he had ever heard, but he did see that Queen had the goods nonetheless, and offered them a publishing deal. A record deal actually wouldn't come for some time. In July 1973 Trident released Queen's debut album themselves (with the UK publishing deal with EMI in place, and Elektra being the US counterpart).

Brian states that Hawkwind were on the bill tonight as well.




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