The Elvis Years - Blackpool Grand Theatre

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We touched down at the Grand Theatre in the middle of the pouring rain for a night with the King.

On a rainy night in Blackpool, a performance of the music of Elvis Presley was just the tonic.

We weren’t quite Walking In Memphis, but we were transported back to the early days of rock ‘n’ roll, inspired by the tunes of the Delta blues, as top Elvis entertainer Mario Kombou took us on a barnstorming journey through the star’s musical life.

He kicked off with That’s Alright Mamma, the hit which capatulted a young Elvis to fame, before embarking on a journey from the ‘50s to the ‘70s, from the Ed Sullivan Show to Hollywood.

With more than 40 hits belted out during the two-hour set, the audience certainly got their money’s worth.

And whoever is in charge of wardrobe deserves an accolade too for getting all the costume changes spot on!

If you can’t keep up (although most of this crowd were clearly big fans and so would have no problem with that) a screen suspended over the stage flashed images of Elvis from the various eras including his army service and early concerts.

But it was the music everyone was really there for, and this concert tour production of the West End show Jailhouse Rock, certainly did not disappoint on that score.

Mario had the voice and the moves, tackling 70s hits I Just Can’t Help Believing and Way Down, with ease.

But it was not just the usual Elvis fare – rarities from Elvis’s film career included C’mon Everybody (from Viva Las Vegas) and Didja Ever (G.I. Blues).

For If I Can Dream, Mario donned the white suit from the ‘68 Special finale, and earlier in the set Blue Moon of Kentucky, Such A Night and Jailhouse Rock were on the playlist.

Return to Sender, and of course Suspicious Minds, both got an airing.

One of the best was left to last – American Trilogy was a fitting finale.

SHELAGH PARKINSON