Rob Kingsley: ‘I love the fact we are all just trying to keep Elvis alive’

A Vision Of Elvis
A Vision Of Elvis

There are plenty of Elvis tributes around, but Rob Kingsley certainly doesn’t see them as competition.

As far as Rob’s concerned, it’s a case of the more, the merrier.

Rob brings his Vision Of Elvis show to the Theatre Royal Brighton on Friday, January 9.

“I love the fact we are all just trying to keep Elvis alive,” says Rob. “I do what I do, and they do what they do, and if they are good, people will enjoy the show, and then when they see another Elvis show at the venue, they will also come along to that.

“Elvis was a unique person. We are just all trying to celebrate him.

“For me, I can still remember the first time I ever heard his voice. It was such a unique voice that could sing everything from Heartbreak Hotel to Teddy Bear. I must have been about six or seven years old. I can mind it like it was yesterday. I was playing toy soldiers in the back garden with my friend.”

Just a year later, Elvis was dead – though strangely Rob has retained no memory whatsoever of the moment he heard Elvis had passed away.

“I did my friend’s wedding a couple of years ago, the same friend I was playing in the garden with, and he was saying ‘Do you remember the day Elvis died? We were away on our bikes that day.’ But no, I really don’t remember it, which is strange because I have got a good memory. I just don’t remember it at all.”

In the years since, Rob has met all of Elvis’ band. In fact, he’s met them three times or so: “And when you speak to the guys that knew him, you hear what a humble guy Elvis was. The guys say he was just a lovely guy and fun to be around... and you consider the pressure he was under.”

There is pressure enough as a tribute act, Rob says: “Just think what it must have been like for Elvis.”

Rob’s show brings you a full evening featuring all the classic hits, from the hip-swivelling 50s Sun Studios to the Movie Years and the 1968 Comeback Special with the finale Elvis’ electrifying Jumpsuit Concert Years. 

Recognized as the Official European Champion when he won Europe’s Largest Elvis competition, Rob also has the distinction of being the first Elvis tribute artist to perform live at the new Wembley Stadium.

As Rob says, he tries to include songs from all the important eras in his show: “But for me personally, I think that it was 1974 that Elvis was at his peak. Just the vocals, just in terms of Elvis being Elvis, just his own charisma. He had his fan base. Everybody loved him. He could really relax. Where could he go next from that? He was at his absolute best vocally.”

In terms of image, Rob reckons he was at his sharpest looks-wise from 1969-70.

And it’s that degree of detailed thinking Rob carries into the show: “You have got to be authentic. You have got to get it right and give the audiences a real feeling of the man.”

As Rob points out, we are lucky to have much more technology available now than Elvis ever had, but to use too much of it would be out of keeping with the Elvis he is trying to capture.

“You have got to know your stuff, and I think the audience really appreciate it when they can see you have done your homework.”

Click here for tickets.