Brief Encounter with ... Bohemian Rhapsody's Nathan James
Nathan James has starred in Thriller, caused a stir on ITV's search for Jesus in Superstar last year during tweet-gate, and auditioned for The Voice. He is currently touring the UK in Bohemian Rhapsody - in a celebration of the songs of Queen. We caught up with him to find out about life post the search for Jesus Christ Superstar.Tell us a bit about Bohemian Rhapsody and your role?Bohemian Rhapsody is a celebration of the greatest British rock band of all time, Queen. I am the lead singer and along with 5 others, 6 dancers and a 5 piece rock band we perform two hours of non-stop Queen hits we all know and love.Queen songs are tough to sing. Is that challenging?It's very challenging especially the songs like "Barcelona" - where half is in Spanish and opera in style and the other legit rock. The harmonies are also very hard to replicate but we after a few weeks in rehearsals we have just about cracked it.Has performing in Thriller helped in any way with this show?Yes for sure. It's great training and stamina training for your voice - having to pace yourself so you are able to to do eight shows a week.Last year you were competing on the talent show Superstar. How do you look back on the whole process?I loved it. It was a real showcase for my talent and that's the reason I went on the show, not to win but to prove to people I could sing, as they didn't really get to hear much of me on The Voice.And tweet-gate?It was all good fun. The night Andrew Lloyd Webber said "Nathan James" and "twitter" in the same sentence on live TV, I went up 10k followers in 20 minutes. Also, I would rather be remembered whatever it is for and Andrew helped me in that respect.Are you suspicious of these types of shows now, or do you think they are a good thing?I recommend them to anyone with a strong enough back bone. You need to be strong or it will get you down. Even if you are the best singer in the world, not everyone will like you. Even if you're the nicest person someone, somewhere will find it annoying. I love watching them and if you remember they are light entertainment and not just a talent search you will enjoy them like I do.What are your favourite Queen songs and why?I love "The Show Must Go On" as it kinda sums up my year really ha ha. As I just kept getting back up til eventually I found myself with a performer's US Visa and on a US arena tour with America's biggest touring rock show the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I also love "Don't Stop Me Now", as when I hear it I just wanna dance...I don't obviously. No one as big as me should be dancing in public!Are there any roles you long to play?Not really. I never really wanted to do musicals but I loved the music in Jesus Christ Superstar and I believe it's Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest piece of work. So apart from Jesus or judas...maybe Frank 'n' Furter from Rocky Horror. Singing rock whilst wearing tights and suspenders sounds fun. Ha ha.What's the best thing about touring in a show like Bohemian Rhapsody?Being on tour with my friends and also getting to meet and perform for the awesome UK audiences and especially my fans, some of whom have never seen me live, only on TV.And the worst?Being away from my family, my rabbits and my puppy dog - cockapoo poppy.Why should people come and see the show?If you love the music of Queen and want to hear it sung and played well and not in a cheesy tribute kinda a way you will love it. Sexy girls, sexy boys, big voices, happy moments, sad moments, great musicianship, flamboyant costumes...what more do you need?What are your plans when it's finished?I am back to America to tour again with Trans Siberian Orchestra and also I am recording my first originals album. I also have a few gigs in this summer one of which is at the jazz cafe in London.where I will probably sing a Queen song or two. All of the info is at my website.Nathan James was speaking to Glenn MeadsBohemian Rhapsody is at the Manchester Opera House from 4 - 8 June.