A BMW garage is probably the last place I would expect a photography exhibition, and yet a Friday in October I found myself scouring a showroom floor full of tour imagery by Denis O’Regan of the band Queen. I have been brought up surrounded by Queen music, thanks to my parent’s obsession with the band, and enjoy a lot of their music so I went into this with an open mind (and mother in tow).
This exhibition, presented by Off Beat Lounge in association with Dick Lovett, displayed tour imagery from Queen’s golden years, the mid 70’s to their last ever tour with the original line-up in 1986. All by Denis O’Regan who was Queen’s favourite live photographer at the peak of their career.
Denis O’Regan is a fine art photographer who I actually got to meet on the day, which if you read my photography show blog post, you know I don’t do well at. Even my mother had to say I was a photographer. A lovely man who took the time to answer everyone’s questions, whether they were long or short.
His favourite image, after he struggled to pick, is of Freddie Mercury in front of a crowd at Wembley. An iconic image which just highlighted Freddie’s and the rest of the band’s ability to captivate an audience.
You can see in the exhibition how photography at the time was changing, with the introduction of colour film you see this come through in the imagery as time went on, which in my opinion was made for the Queen Magic Tour.
However, in this world of smartphones and selfies its hard to believe that colour photography at the time was seen as a fad, a phase that would never take off and no photographer would be taken seriously using it. But, I love that Denis ignored these opinions because if it was possible colour catches the euphoric atmosphere even more. Saying this to him, he complimented my ‘professional’ opinion – that makes me a happy lady!
If you have the option to visit this exhibition in it’s last few shows I would highly recommend, the music is so loud it makes you fall in love with the songs all over again and the imagery is just fantastic, it’s time to appreciate film again people! All this is associated with the mercury phoenix trust too, so all for a great cause.