QUEEN guitarist Brian May opened a live music venue in Taunton’s High Street while visiting Somerset to promote his petition against the cull of badgers in April 2013.

Dr May, 74, was part of Queen’s ‘classic line-up’ alongside lead vocalist and pianist Freddie Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor, and bassist John Deacon.

The band’s biggest hits include ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘Under Pressure’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.

On Saturday, April 21, 2013, Dr May was in Somerset to promote his campaign against the culling of badgers but spent the evening at The Live Room to mark its grand opening.

He spoke to clubbers about his online petition against a planned badger cull, which had gained nearly 200,000 signatures, before he cut the ribbon on the new venue’s stage to officially open it.

The launch event also included live music from a variety of bands, featuring local performers The Darlingtons.

Somerset County Gazette: Brian May cuts the ribbon on the stage of The Live Room. Picture: James BillettBrian May cuts the ribbon on the stage of The Live Room. Picture: James Billett

After the venue’s launch, the music legend tweeted: “Thanks @LiveRoomTaunton for hospitality - GREAT music from @thedarlingtons. Make sure yo'all sign the petition!”

The Live Room’s owners, Karl Drew and Tarryn Marais, said it was “an honour to have met and hosted” Dr May.

One music fan said it was “epic” that he “rocked out” at The Live Room with the Queen icon, while another said his appearance “made my year”.

The Live Room was the owners’ second venue in Taunton alongside The Drawing Room, which opened a year earlier.

However, the venue closed after less than five months of trading on September 7, 2013.

In a Facebook post confirming its closure, The Live Room said: “Unfortunately tonight is our last day of trading.

“It's been a crazy ride from the start and it's a shame to see this building go empty again.

“Thanks to everyone for all the effort they put in, it would have been an even shorter run without you. Farewell, 61 High Street.”

Fans of The Live Room took to social media to express their sadness about it closing, with one local musician attributing the closure to a lack of support for music venues. 

The Queen musician also came to Taunton in 2012 to attend a badger cull campaign, where he met Somerset author Jenny Smedley.

In March 1974, he performed twice at the County Ballroom alongside Mercury, Taylor, and Deacon as part of a UK tour.

The performances came shortly after the release of the band's second album, Queen II.

Steve Priddle – who attended one of the gigs on March 30 – wrote on queenconcerts.com: “You could tell you were watching and listening to a band that were going to be huge.”