ONE of the UK’s leading Queen tribute bands start their UK tour this month, stopping off in East Lancashire with their brand new show.

Living up to the standards of the main man himself is Rob Comber, whose outrageous stage antics and personality make him the perfect Freddie Mercury.

But the lead singer admits he had to think about taking on the role he was offered 10 years ago.

“When I first thought about it I thought there was no way I could step into a rock icon’s shoes,” says Rob, who joined The Bohemians in 2004.

“I was approached and asked if I wanted to be the lead singer of a Queen tribute band, but at the time I was more of a guitarist rather than a singer. But I went for it and I made the right decision. I had to learn how to play the piano and also perfect the moves and start to look like him.”

Named after Bohemian Rhapsody, The Bohemians formed in 1996 and have since been delivering the hit singles such as We Are The Champions, Somebody To Love and Don’t Stop Me Now. They have performed all over the world at football stadiums, festivals, theatres and other prestigious venues re-enacting the glory days of Queen.

Keeping their performance fresh, this tour celebrates Queen’s finest live performances from 1974 to 1986.

“We are trying something a bit different this time around. We are changing the format concentrating on the earlier stuff. We are going to be very careful and give people a taste of what they were like in the early days. They wore heels, glitter and leotards. We are mindful that people want to hear all the classic songs. We have composed some short medleys of the older songs,” says Rob, whose love for the original band started in 1975.

The Bohemians are up there among the world’s top Queen acts, and they are back with a new set to take you back to the early 70s for the 40th anniversary of Queen playing the iconic Rainbow Theatre in 1974.

Freddie Mercury died of Aids, aged 45. Rob says the emotion of the star’s death, drives his performance.

“Freddie Mercury was a fantastic musician, writer and a showman. There’s always a certain amount of emotion I have when singing Bohemian Rhapsody. It gets you thinking about him and the audience connect with you,” says Rob.

“But there are also songs like The Show Must Go On. Emotion drives it. It was a tragic thing that happened and ensured he was a legend.” Rob said: “The band works well and that’s why there’s nothing that we won’t try. We are all into making the visual and the musical side of the show equally good. It is energetic and exciting — we are all Queen anoraks. We probably perform 140 nights a year, it never gets old and it’s always great fun.”

The Bohemians, Thwaites Empire Theatre, Saturday, April 19. Details from 01254 685500.