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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 May, 2005, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
Queen launch long-awaited UK tour
Queen guitarist Brian May (left) with Paul Rodgers
Paul Rodgers first performed with Queen last year
Rock band Queen are due to kick-off their first UK tour in 19 years.

Queen are on tour with former Free singer Paul Rodgers in place of Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991.

The tour starts in Newcastle on Tuesday and takes in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Sheffield, before ending in London on 11 May.

The band - which also includes guitarist Brian May and Roger Taylor - has already enjoyed sell-out performances across Europe.

May first performed with Rodgers at a concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster guitar in London in September 2004.

Solo success

They teamed up again for a concert to mark their induction into the UK Music Hall of Fame, and were joined by Taylor.

Rodgers said: "Powerful and real, explosive and dynamic. That's how it felt when Queen and I played our three tracks at the UK Music Hall Of Fame Awards ceremony in London.

"Lets do more was the unanimous feeling. Which is why we are joining forces for this tour."

When Free disbanded in 1973, Rodgers formed Bad Company with former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, and the pair made six multi-platinum selling albums.

He also partnered former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in The Firm during the mid-1980's as well as pursuing a Grammy-nominated solo career.

The UK tour kicks off on Tuesday night with a sell-out performance at Metro Radio Arena, In Newcastle.


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