Well I must admit I’m not an expert on ELVIS PRESLEY – or on Elvis tribute acts; but for me and those friends I was with last night at THE 72 CLUB in Ilford, our friend Nicky Hart WAS Elvis! Obviously Nick has a natural propensity to do a great Elvis impersonation (which is a good basis for his act) but what I saw last night was someone who has really studied his subject, taken it to an art-form, and honed it to perfection. Everything was right as far as I could see: The costume; the wig and side burns (even if one of them did slip a little during the act!); the moves; the spiel between songs; the Tennessee accent; and even the breathless grunts! Nick can even perspire like ‘The King’ himself! (And I’m not surprised – the way he was throwing himself about the dance floor!) But what struck me most of all was the voice – Nick HAS the voice of Elvis! I was most impressed.
There is no stage as such at The 72 Club, the tables are arranged around a dance floor, and the performers do their turn on it. This kind of set-up is ideal for an act like Nicky’s. He was in and out of the tables flirting with the ladies (which always goes down well!) and generally interacting with the crowd. He even managed to cover the unexpected need to change batteries in his microphone in the middle of the act, with a bit of clever ad-lib Elvis-spiel!
Nicky began his well chosen set with the bluesy and brassy ‘Trouble’; and followed up with the sing-a-long ‘Return To Sender’. All the classics followed: ‘The Devil In Disguise’; ‘Viva Las Vegas’; ‘Surrender’; ‘A Little Less Conversation’; ‘Hound-Dog’; ‘Rock-a-Hula Baby’; ‘Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel’; ‘Little Sister’; ‘Big Hunk’; Chuck Berry’s-‘Johnny B Goode’; ‘Suspicious Minds’; ‘Wonder Of You’; CCR’s hit-‘Proud Mary’; ‘If I Can Dream’; ‘Blue Suede Shoes’; ‘You Were Always On My Mind’; ‘Burning Love’; ‘Moody Blue’; ‘American Trilogy’; and finishing with ‘Way Down’. (What! No room for ‘Mess Of The Blues’ Nick? – that’s my personal favourite Elvis song!)
Actually Nick was the support act for a Michael Buble tribute. This was also a good performance from a man who’s name I don’t remember; but who had some of the ladies in our party up on the dance floor. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for his full show, and left during the interval. It was Nick who our party had come to see anyway. To be honest I wasn’t paying too much attention to ‘Michael Buble’ as I was talking to Nicky through some of his set! And anyway, I know even less about Michael Buble tribute acts than I do about Elvis!
Yes, you can accuse me of being biased in Nicky’s favour because I know the bloke and want to support and promote him (like I do all my friends’ musical projects); but to be honest, I think I’d be writing something similar even if I didn’t know him. A great show – my Blue Suede Shoes were worn out with tapping my feet!
For more information, or to book a gig with Nick. Here is a link to his website:
To watch Nick on YouTube:
Phil The Music Quill.