AFTER ten years on the road, The Elvis Years is one of the most successful tributes of all time and is en route to Poole.
The show draws on more than three decades of hits including Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, It’s Now or Never, Suspicious Minds and the showstopping American Trilogy, as well as lesser known highlights like Bossa Nova Baby and Rock A Hula Baby.
The Elvis Years stars Mario Kombou, who has been performing as The King for more than 20 years and was the original lead in the West End production of Jailhouse Rock. Here, Mario answers a few questions ahead of the show.
Could you tell us how you began performing as Elvis?
It was while I was at drama school. I went to a theme restaurant where they had different tribute acts and one of them was Elvis. I saw the guy and thought to myself ‘I reckon I can do that’, so I had a friend make me a leather ’68 Comeback Special outfit and a white jumpsuit and I went along and auditioned and the rest is history!
What is it about Elvis and his music that has lasted so well and keeps being discovered by new generations of fans?
I think it’s the fact that he was so unique and appealed to everyone and his songs are so diverse. He was the first to have the whole package and he was different and exciting. I think people of Elvis’ generation have handed the mantle on to their kids and they have grown to love his music and his films and I think it will continue.
What are your favourite Elvis songs and why? Do you have a favourite era, or favourite costumes?
I first got into Elvis watching the movies so I always have a strong affection for the movies as these are my first memories of Elvis. I love the soundtrack to King Creole – Elvis looked, sang and acted his best in this movie. Of course, he looked amazing in the black leather ’68 outfit and his jumpsuits are a work of art.
How does it feel to go on stage as Elvis and how do you keep each performance fresh?
It feels a bit like Superman when you go on stage dressed in the outfits. I don’t consider it a job because I get to sing songs that I love and to portray my idol so that in itself is enough to keep every performance fresh. The minute I don’t enjoy it any more will be the time I stop doing it!
Are there any contemporary songs that you think Elvis would have been happy to include in his set?
I think Elvis was always doing cover versions of songs that he liked so I’ve no doubt that there are songs he would’ve and could’ve covered if he were around a bit longer – songs like Queen’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love, for example, or even Robbie Williams’ Angels.
* The Elvis Years is at Lighthouse Poole on Wednesday, January 30 at 7.45pm. Tickets: £23
Source : BournemouthEcho