Crane breaks free as Freddie

Published 9:00am 9 September 2021

Crane breaks free as Freddie
Words by Jodie Powell

Freddie Mercury impersonator Thomas Crane brings the Queen lead singer to life at the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre this month.

Backed by band Bohemian Rhapsody, Crane’s new stage show covers some of British rock band Queen’s greatest hits.

For Crane, the return to the stage cannot come soon enough, with a series of concerts planned for southern states canned due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

Instead, he and wife Krystal have moved to Queensland, touring the state in their Mercedes Sprinter van – from which they’ve ditched the dining table in favour of fitting in his prized drum kit, piano and guitars.

A self-taught musician since his teens, Crane never saw Mercury live, but was inspired to start singing his songs after his idol died.

“I was just getting into Queen at that stage – I had Queen written on my denim jacket in black Texta,” Crane laughs.

“I didn’t know then that I would be playing Freddie’s songs on stage.

“I heard (of Mercury’s death) on the radio and from that moment onwards I started rehearsing his songs.

Hobby takes on a life of its own

“It seems like when he passed away, I took over.”

It was just a hobby – and Crane was playing his own songs in Australia after his family moved from Scotland when he was 17 – until he agreed to take the stage as Freddie at a friend’s 40th birthday.

“The club I did it at wanted me to come back and do an actual gig,” Crane explains.

His alter-ego took off after appearances on Australia’s Got Talent in 2011, where he impressed judges Molly Meldrum, Danni Minogue and Brian McFadden with his theatrical energy.

“My God, Freddie Mercury is alive and well he would have been very proud of that vocal performance,” Meldrum said at the time.

“That’s the best Freddie Mercury impersonation I have seen – you rock,” was Minogue’s reaction, while McFadden said: “Thomas Crane is a great singer and an amazing showman”.

But the stage show he’d created, complete with a carefully chosen band, skyrocketed after the release of the movie Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody in 2018.

Crane says the Redcliffe audience can expect a swag of their favourite songs, Mercury’s magnificent moves and plenty of banter when he and Bohemian Rhapsody perform.

Read more local news here.

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