The frontman of Flash Harry, Northern Ireland's Queen tribute band, has revealed he is hoping to take a step back from performing within the next 18 months after re-evaluating his priorities in the Covid-19 lockdown.
Harry Hamilton, who has enjoyed huge success paying homage to rock star Freddie Mercury for 30 years, said quality time spent at home with his family had made him consider his future and the possibility of moving on from the act.
The 55-year-old Lurgan man, who suffered a heart attack last year, said he had cherished the free time with his wife Heather and their three grown-up daughters and, while he's planning to scale back the gigging, he won't rule out a come-back further down the line.
And in the meantime, the father-of-three is looking forward to performing at a special drive-in concert next month on Belfast's iconic Maritime Mile at the Titanic Slipways.
Harry, who also works with the NI Food and Drink Association, said: "If the truth be told, I have enjoyed having a break from gigging. It's been lovely spending quality time with my family and not having to watch the clock all the time because I have to be somewhere.
"We haven't gigged since the end of February so this is the longest break we've ever had. For me, lockdown gave me a chance to think about things going forward and I realised I couldn't see myself continuing to do this.
"I've loved performing as Freddie and celebrating the music of Queen, but it isn't something I want to do for the rest of my life. For a start, I'm 55 now and Freddie was in his thirties at his peak. Trying to recreate that image of him is not something I'm comfortable with any more.
"I can definitely see a change coming in the next year or 18 months. It won't be between now and Christmas, but after that. Time doesn't allow you at 55 to keep gigging and touring so it makes sense to scale things back. But never say never. I'm reluctant to use the word 'quitting', but I'll definitely be taking a long break."
Flash Harry will be among the acts taking part in Belfast's first series of drive-in gigs, which run from July 3 to 5. Hosted by Peter Corry Productions, this new way of bringing entertainment to the masses will also feature a Proms in the Car Park, a children's show entitled Once Upon A Time and performances by Abba tribute act The Bjorn Identity and Peter Corry himself.
Harry said it will be one of the more unusual concerts he has performed at but is hoping the audience is open-minded and appreciative of the efforts being made to entertain them.
"It will be a bit strange at first because we're used to playing live in theatres and feeding off the energy of the audience," he said.
"We don't know what to expect when those gig-goers are in cars, but it's exciting and different and I really hope people get behind us all as we try and find new ways of doing things in these strange times. I think it's a great idea and I'm looking forward to getting back on a stage and seeing my mates again."
To prepare for the gig, Harry has been retraining his voice.
"I think the longest I've been away from a gig over the last 30 years has been about 10 days or two weeks so my voice will need some retraining," he said.
"I've never used a vocal coach before but it's something I might consider. I haven't performed for four months, well not at the level required for this gig.
"A sprinter wouldn't do the Olympics without making sure they were in shape, but there has been a bit of singing in the house. When you're in a house full of women there tends not to be a lot of quiet moments. But I've enjoyed that too.
"Being with them all made me think, 'Do I want to jump into a car and travel to Galway or Cork?' Lockdown has really given me a chance to think about everything. I love performing and being in a band with the four other guys, but a health scare like a heart attack also makes you question things."
Harry inherited his love of music and work ethic from his father, a former showband entertainer. At the age of 88, he still occasionally gigs and is an inspiration to his son.
"This drive-in concert isn't my swansong," he said. "I'll still be performing for the foreseeable future and I may miss it after a long break and be keen to get back to it. Look at my dad, he still does the occasional gig.
"I'm also aware that while lockdown has been a positive experience for me and I've enjoyed taking stock, so many people have been less fortunate. For some, it's been a devastating time and I feel almost guilty that I've enjoyed it.
"All these things have made me think.
"Life is short and I appreciate everything that I have. I want to go on enjoying it."
Titanic Drive-in Concerts will run from July 3 to 5. Check further info at petercorry productions.com