Written By: Andrea Young
Format: Music Show
Genre: Rock ‘n’ Roll
Date: November 30 2018
Location: Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
I am a fan of Elvis, but Gordon Hendricks’ The Spirit Of Elvis won me over all over again. It also made a new fan of my mum, who wasn’t exactly sure what she was letting herself in for.
All of the big Elvis hits were there throughout the decades: Burning Love, Hound Dog, Always On My Mind, In The Ghetto, Teddy Bear, Suspicious Minds and more.
There were also songs that casual listeners may not be aware of, but that were performed with equal zest, creating new fans for these melodies; the unbelievably catchy Bossa Nova and Polk Salad Annie deserve particular mention.
The middle section of the show focused on Elvis’ gospel songs. It was possibly a little too long for those fans looking to shake their hips, but there is no escaping how well this section showed off Hendricks’ voice. It was hard not to be touched by his relation to the material.
The band and backing singers could also hold their own, keeping the audience entertained during the costume change, with a great rendition of Amazing Grace. Upon his return, Hendricks performed a fantastic duet of Its Now Or Never/O Sole Mio, with the Italian sung masterfully and operatically by one of the group.
Hendricks’ admiration of Elvis is clear throughout. He shared his experience of the first time he really listened to Elvis – a recording of Elvis’ Aloha From Hawaii concert. He stated that if he could go back in time to any moment, it would be to that. Hendricks is actually recreating the whole concert himself with a full band which, if this concert is anything to go by, will be a real treat.
This was a show created by a fan for the fans. Hendricks even changed the running order to ensure he sang everybody’s favourites. He also dedicated songs to particular people. The audience banter was excellent, with Hendricks moving in and out of character for comic effect and telling his stories of being on the road as an Elvis impersonator.
Love Me Tender provided a good change of pace, and was a chance for Hendricks to really showcase how pure of an Elvis sound he has perfected. There was a genuine affection for Hendricks himself, and he for the fans. People had travelled from far and wide to come.
Closing the main show was American Trilogy – I say close, but this was a show that wasn’t ready to stop, and neither were the audience. There was a fabulous encore that saw people dancing in the aisles. Overall, The Spirit Of Elvis was a fantastic night out for old and new fans alike.
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding