Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse (Wardour-056)
Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark – May 12th, 1977
Disc 1: A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy, The Millionaire Waltz, You’re My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Death On Two Legs, Brighton Rock
Disc 2: ’39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet’s Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Sweet Lady, Keep Yourself Alive, Stone Cold Crazy, In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Now I’m Here, Liar
Invite You To A Night At The Warehouse on Wardour is the first silver release of the vinyl title of the same name on the Stoned label in Sweden. This label operated for about eighteen months before being shut down and busted. The six titles they produced are among the best recorded and professionally presented, setting a high standard for unofficial releases. The sound quality of their Queen tape is very good to almost excellent. There is a some distance from the stage but the taper was able to capture the atmosphere of the concert perfectly and this is one of the best audience tapes from the A Day At The Races era. The webmaster for the excellent Queen On Stage website spoke to two of the men behind the label and writes:
“I bought my copy from H. Lilliegren, one of the ‘Stoned’ guys. I had also a good correspondence with the producer Bolle Gregmar. They told me the following about this album. It’s made in 986 copies, recorded from row 15. The plan was to record from row 10, but inside the hall they found out that row 1-5 was A, B, C, D, and E, so they end up in row 15. The sound quality ended up a bit worse than what they expected. One of the microphones also failed, so it’s in mono. I will try to get more info later. For those who hoping for a complete re-release of this nice show, I’m afraid I must disappoint you all. The police seized everything including the master tape, used as evidence in court. That’s what they told me. The stuff has never been returned. The running order of the songs had been mixed to fit onto vinyl disc.”
A silver disc version of the LP was released in 1997 on Stoned 5. Wardour provide a better transfer of the vinyl LP from a flawless copy with no hint of its source. There are various cuts scattered throughout the tape including one at 7:38 in “Brighton Rock” and cuts around the encores omitting the audience cheering the band to come back out. There is also no intrusive audience noise except for the taper saying “This is Queen live in Copenhagen” during the beginning of “Liar.” The show unfortunately isn’t complete since it is missing the final encore which on the tapes for the two shows before this from Stockholm and Gothenburg are “Big Spender,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “God Save The Queen.”
The mid-seventies were a fascinating time for Queen with their breakout LP A Night At The Opera. It is an album filled with speculative lyrics with music tinged with the giddiness of a newly discovered talent for experimentation. The follow up A Day At The Races continued the experiments but the music drips in melancholy and the lyrics have a focused nihilism absent in Queen’s earlier music. The ensuing set list for the world tour is a schizophrenic roller-coaster ride through an entire range of emotions. The May 12th show was their first in Cophenhagen and they would only ever play there again at the Falkoner Theater on the News Of The World tour the following year.
The show begins with the A Day At The Races taped introduction before they play two heavier numbers, “Tie Your Mother Down” and the excellent “Ogre Battle.” Afterwards Freddie says, “Good evening. Welcome to the show Copenhagen. You load of tarts! It’s nice to be here after such a long time…Tonight we’re gonna play you some mean old rock and roll as well as the quieter stuff. My God it’s loud tonight.” Ironically, he encourages the audience to clap and dance around before the quieter song “White Queen (As It Began).” May’s solo sounds majestic in this recording. “Somebody To Love” is introduced as their latest single. May discusses their medley of older songs beginning with “Killer Queen.” His comment is curious since most of the medley comes from the new album!
“Killer Queen” lacks the final verse and is segued with “Good Old Fashioned Loverboy” right from the guitar solo. This performance of the new track is probably the only time Freddie actually sings the “Set my alarm, turn on my charm” line. Most shows he just mumbled through it. The medley ends with “Bring Back That Leroy Brown” from Sheer Heart Attack. This would be the last tour to include this song. “Death On Two Legs” is introduced as a new song that has only recently been added to the set. This wasn’t played on the US leg of the tour earlier in the year which would make this only the third time it was played live. They play the entire song but Freddie loses his place in the lyrics and brings it to the brink of disaster only to be rescued by Roger Taylor.
“Queen would like to drink a special toast to everybody here. Cheers Copenhagen. Skool. May you all have campaign for breakfast tomorrow” Freddie says before introducing May for his set piece “Brighton Rock.” “’39” brings the band out to the front of the stage “which is unusual for us” May claims. This tour is their first attempt to include acoustic number and would be expanded greatly in the future. The “White Man” and “The Prophet’s Song” is May’s second showpiece with Freddie doing vocal gymnastics with the vocal harmonizer. The set closer is the magnificent “In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited” and would be dropped after this tour to reappear a decade later in the medley. They two encores are “Now I’m Here” and an eight minute version of “Liar.” Wardour pay tribute to the vinyl by reproducing the cover and by using a four fold insert for the first time. The inside contains all of the information including the producer. Apparently they used their real names so it’s no wonder the Stoned label got busted. This is one of the best documents from the era and Wardour did a tremendous service by pressing it onto silver.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)