Posted by: lucylastic | September 29, 2010

Elvis Forever! If only………

I’m not sure why I was drawn to Radio 2’s ‘Elvis Forever’ in Hyde Park a couple of weeks ago?  Maybe it was just that I hadn’t been to a single outdoor concert since last year’s epic ‘Jools and friends’ somewhere outside Bath………..Maybe it was because I do actually quite like Elvis’s music, (thank you best mate A), but the idea of a ‘galaxy of stars’ singing Elvis numbers seemed like quite a good one at the time I booked the £30 tickets.  London as a venue for an evening out is quite a long way from suburban Swindon – especially once you get snarled up in the traffic – and before I hear you shouting ‘public transport’ at me, have you even seen the price of a train ticket from Swindon to London?  Suffice it to say, I could drive there and back quite a few times before I get close to the price of 2 train tickets, parking, congestion charges and the like.  But that isn’t what I wanted to say – back to the concert.

Best bit I suppose was that Elvis DID make an appearance – albeit via a film taken some years ago, when he was a) still alive and b) still singing reasonably well, but given that these venue are so huge and we had seen all of the other bands only on the huge screens either side of the stage, it had more reality about it than you may think possible.  Actually, it was spine-tinglingly spooky, and a great finale, (almost as great as the fireworks).

Larger than life and very plastic-fantastic was Priscilla Presley.  Talking touchingly and eye-wateringly about ‘my Elvis’, his memory and that he would have been 75 had he managed to stay alive……….. now, I’m not one to carp, but didn’t they get divorced WAY before he died, weren’t they bitter enemies and daggers drawn?  It seems all forgotten now and she is courted as ‘his beautiful widow’, (Chris Evans), and saviour of Graceland.  I had to smile at the ‘booing’ that any mentions of ‘the Colonel’ came in for, he’s dead too folks.  But hey, he did get most of the money, (allegedly).

Can’t let this piece go by without saying that opening act Scouting for Girls were brave, but ultimately foolhardy, as their voices are just not up to big outdoor park sound, not the right style for Elvis either.  Much better performances from Michale Ball, Tony Hadley, the great Tom Jones, (of course, I knew Elvis well)………..and one or two others – I didn’t really know Imelda May, but she put up a stonkingly good performance, as did Fyfe Dangerfiled and Jon Allen – neither of whom I could recall hearing of before.

It was barely the right side of chilly to be out till almost 10.00pm, but aided and abetted by some G&T and Pimms, we made it through!  And the blanket helped.

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