I wasn’t sure what to expect from my visit to New Theatre this evening, having never been to any professional tribute act before, let alone one for the King himself. I had that feeling of trepidation that I usually keep in reserve for watching live comedy; will the audience be appreciative, or will they turn on the act for perceived lack of talent? Crowd anxiety is a real thing for me. It was all ok though – I had nothing to worry about, as is usually the case when I go to the New Theatre. The booking team know what they are doing!
As the crowd made their way into the theatre, there was an air of excitement; perhaps not akin to that which Elvis himself may have induced, but that is beyond compare, I imagine. The band assembled onstage and my nerves melted away. The crowd were buzzing even before our act entered the stage. With a backdrop of photos from the Elvis-era this tour was evoking – the Vegas Years (1969-1977) - the scene was set for an evening of fun and nostalgia. The stage was quite simply set-up, since it was Lee '
King had a cheeky smile on his face and a bit of mumbled Memphis-accented banter in between songs, again pure Elvis. It was only when a latecomer came trying to discreetly find his seat that the accent dropped, and Memphis gently ribbed the audience member for being late in a strong Northern accent; despite this non-Elvis-like repartee the crowd loved it.
With brilliant back-up from his singers and band, including a wonderful brass section and a lead guitarist playing the main chords from Johnny B. Goode from behind his head, King brought a little warmth to a chilly Oxford evening, and the audience left the theatre with a skip in their step and full of praise for this talented performer.