Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column. kerrscorner@ulsteronline.org.uk

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We Will Rock You

IN ADVANCE of the forthcoming Flash Harry gig in the Clarion Hotel on November 18th 2006, David Kerr spoke to the band’s lead singer and front man, Harry Hamilton.

I MUST BE getting old. It seems only yesterday that the news came through that Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant leader singer of Queen, died. As the papers and the VH1 cable music station reminded us, that was sixteen years ago, in 1990!

Harry Hamilton had often been told that he looked a lot like Freddie and he has a powerful singing voice too. So he and a few friends launched Flash Harry a few months after Freddie’s death, performing in clubs around the country. One early highlight was a triumphant sell-out gig in the Ulster Hall in 1992. Today the band can fill halls the length and breadth of the British Isles – even the Royal Albert Hall in London. I first saw them play in an open air concert in Woodvale Park a few years back.

This year, they commenced with a storming January gig in the Waterfront Hall. On what would have been Freddie’s sixtieth birthday, they had the great honour to travel to Birmingham to perform for the official Queen fan club. Later this month they will take part in the prestigious international Cork Jazz Festival alongside such greats Courtney Pine and Mary Couglin. They also play the song ‘Breakthru’ on a new tribute CD, ‘An Unconventional Tribute to Queen’.
Afetr the heady heights of the Cork Jazz Festival some might think it’s a bit of a comedown to play to a Carrick audience. Not a bit of it, says Harry. “We’ve played at the old Quality Hotel quite a few times and have always had a great audience. We were at the Clarion earlier in the year with the Quay Vipers Motorcycle Club and it was a terrific night. We’re really looking forward to going back again. Carrick fans are great”.

Modestly, Harry attributes Flash Harry’s popularity to the very strong material they have to work with. Queen were not the super band they became for no reason. Their songs and the tunes caught the popular imagination because they were well-written and played faultlessly with matchless style. Of course, Harry’s right but saying that, his band don’t just go through the motions of a Queen act. Flash harry carry off their tribute to Queen with a love and enthusiasm sp plain you can almost touch it. No wonder the Queen Fan Club chose the band to perform at Freddie’s birthday celebrations. Get to the Clarion gig on November 18th and see what I’m on about. You won’t be let down, believe me!

I hear that there are still a few tickets left for the Clarion gig, but you’ll have to hurry if you don’t want to be disappointed. You can’t rely on getting tickets at the door for such a popular act. Tickets are available from the hotel reception at 028 9336 4556. Find out about other future gigs on the band’s website: www.flash-harry.co.uk

Flash Harry will be appearing at The Clarion Hotel, Carrickergus, on Saturday 18th November, 2006. Tickets: £12.00. Tel: 028 9336 4556.

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