A FREDDIE Mercury tribute that wowed the late rock star’s mum returns to Wirral next week.

Mercury - featuring Joseph Lee Jackson as the late, great frontman - will be staged at the Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight on Friday, May 23.

Formed in 1998, the band promise to accurately recreate the vocals and looks of supergroup Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon.

The band has hundreds of loyal fans who now follow them across the UK, including Freddie’s mum, Jer Bulsara, who said recently: "Freddie was an original. Mercury are the next best thing."

Joseph told the Globe: "We’re looking forward to coming back to Port Sunlight. It’s our fourth time there and the audience is always appreciate of great rock music.

"It's a constant tour, year in, year out and we don't take a break from it."

When they started out, their ambition was to play large venues and capture the emotion, atmosphere and power that Queen themselves generated in live performances.

Their first gig was in humble surroundings at the George and Dragon pub, Derbyshire, in February, 1999.

A Spanish entertainment agent was in England at the time searching for a Queen tribute act to play a summer season in Mallorca.

Mercury was spotted and success was not far behind. They went on to win the Best Show in Spain Award 1999, playing in the country many times and their performances have been televised live from Holland to Hungary.

On the praise from Freddie's mum, Joseph told the Globe: "We have met Jer a few times and she is delighted that there are tribute bands keeping Freddie's music legacy alive."

Freddie died, aged just 45, from an Aids-related illness in November 1991.

On capturing the spirit of the man, Joseph continued: "His vocal range was vast and it took me about six months to master his voice.

"Not only did he have this fantastic range, but was also a very demanding character on stage."

"Freddie was the ultimate showman and as I've found over the years, you need a lot of stamina to sing and capture the spirit of the band’s shows."

A New Year's Eve concert in Dubai was broadcast live by MTV Asia to millions of homes.

But perhaps Mercury's most memorable moment was being invited to perform a live gig for Queen drummer Roger Taylor and his friends.

Tickets for the Gladstone Theatre show, which starts at 7.30pm, are from the box office on 643 8757.