Elvis lives! Well, for the next three days at least.
Europe’s biggest Elvis impersonation convention is taking place (or Europe’s Largest Annual Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Convention, to use it’s proper, and rather wordy, title) at the National Exhibition Centre Birmingham, and Elvises of all shapes and sizes and joined forces and belt out The King’s best tunes.
And while Birmingham might be awash with white bedazzled jumpsuits and jet black quiffs right now, behind those large gold sunglasses and quivering ‘uh-huh’s are Elvis fans from all different walks of life.
The three-day convention consists of two days of heats, with the final on Sunday 7 January.
And for this bunch of Hound Dogs, this is a competition not be taken lightly. There’s rules to this game.
According to the rules, you can perform any two Elvis songs of your choice to a backing track, and you can even perform a medley if you so wish, but only if it is performed exactly the way Elvis has performed the same medley.
Oof, there’s no messing about here.
And you’d hope that these Elvisers read the rules before they turned up, because the Exhibition Centre seem to have thrown out their CD player. That’s right, the rules stipulate that CDs are not permitted, and that backing tracks must be on Mini-disc or a memory stick.
The contestants are judged on their vocal ability, appearance, stage presence, and overall performance. The winner bags themselves £1,000 prize money, while second prize gets £600 and third prize is £400. Not bad for singing along to your favourite Elvis tunes.
Elvis may have died in 1977 – forty whole years ago – but people’s love for The King is unwavering.
His most well known songs were such hits as Suspicious Minds (1969), Hound Dog (1956), and Jailhouse Rock (1957).
Elvis’ health deteriorated later in his life, and by 1973 he became increasingly unwell due to his weight gain and supposed drug addiction.
He was found dead on the floor of his bathroom by a supposed heart attack on 17 August, 1977, but he continues to live on through his most loyal of fans, who perform as tribute acts to him all over the world.
Now, we can only hope that they all chowed down on some Fool’s Gold loafs for lunch.
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