Plaque erected in student hall to mark first Queen gig

British rock band Queen went back to a London students' hall Tuesday for the unveiling of a heritage plaque marking their first appearance.

The legendary group played their first concert billed as Queen in the Union Concert Hall at Imperial College on July 18, 1970.

The band featured lead singer Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, Roger Taylor on drums and the group's first bass player Mike Grose.

The line-up played in Taylor's home town Truro in southwest England on June 27, 1970 but were billed as Smile, the precursor band to Queen featuring Taylor and May.

The pair returned to Imperial for the unveiling of the plaque by PRS for Music, the industry copyright body.

"The first proper gig we did was at Imperial College in the Union Hall," said May, who completed his physics degree at the west London university.

"I remember it very distinctly because I'd seen all sorts of people playing in there. I'd been part of the entertainment committee and we booked a group every Saturday night.

"So for us it was a dream come true to actually play on that stage. It used to get packed in there so it was a major stepping stone for us."

Taylor added: "Imperial College was effectively our positional and spiritual base and so means a lot to Queen. Many good memories. Without it, who knows?"

After trying out several bassists, the band quickly settled on John Deacon, who retired in 1997.

PRS for Music established the Heritage Award scheme in 2009 to recognise important live music venues where iconic artists performed.

Queen are among the world's biggest-selling artists ever, with enduring hits such as "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Another One Bites The Dust", "We Are The Champions" and "We Will Rock You".