Six 40th Anniversary Events for Elvis Lovers in Northern Ireland
From top tribute acts to site specific 'Jailhouse' screenings, you won't need to go to Graceland to celebrate the legacy of the King
On August 16 the music world will observe a landmark 40 years since the death of one of its true icons. While recent years have seen the loss of many all-time greats in a short space of time, from David Bowie and Prince to George Michael and Leonard Cohen, it still speaks volumes for an artist to be remembered so widely four decades after passing.
Few artists however are as globally recognisable nor left an impression on popular culture quite like Elvis Presley. The King's influence is still very much evident today – not just in music - and all year round fans in their millions flock to Graceland to pay their respects at his former residence.
Naturally the Memphis, Tennessee mecca is the centre of activity as the anniversary approaches, with this year's annual Elvis Week expected to be its biggest ever, but that doesn't mean that those who love his music and live elsewhere can't join in celebrating it. In Northern Ireland fans will have a number of opportunities to relive the King's glories both on stage and on screen. Read on for details of when and where you can get involved - don't forget your Blue Suede Shoes...
Saturday, August 12, 8.00pm at the Alley Theatre, Strabane
What to expect: Featuring Mark Carmichael from Camhanach, Glen Harkin (Harks), Nineteen 80’ Something and Matthew Ward, local artists with a love of Elvis will come together to mark the 40th anniversary of his death celebrate all things Elvis. Expect to hear your favourite Elvis songs including: ‘All Shook Up’, ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Love Me Tender Love Me Be’, ‘In the Ghetto’, ‘Heart Break Hotel’ and lots more. With prizes for best dressed, audience members are encouraged to come along as Elvis, Priscilla, Ann Margaret or other Rockabilly icons to look the part and have the chance to come away with something special for your efforts.
Wednesday, August 16, 7.00pm at the Nerve Centre, Derry~Londonderry
What to expect: Elvis back on stage in front of a live audience where he belongs. Dressed in the now iconic leather suit and looking fit and healthy - this is EP at his magical best.
'Everything that makes Elvis great is encapsulated in the ’68 Comeback Special. It’s one of the great transition and recapitulation moments in Rock and Roll, and some of the most singular rock music ever - one man with the voice, power and looks.' - Rino Breebaart, Slow Review
Friday, August 18, 8.00pm at the Old Courthouse, Bangor
What to expect: In the week that marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, where better to screen what is arguably his best lm ever than a Court House. A young man serving a jail sentence for manslaughter becomes a teenage rock star. The soundtrack features classic Elvis material including 'Jailhouse Rock'. Attendees can bring their own snacks and refreshments.
Saturday, August 19, 8.00pm at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast
What to expect: Jim Brown has been touring Europe for a number of years with his tribute to Elvis. He has released two albums and has sold over one million copies. He has also appeared on many television shows such as GMTV, Jerry Springer Live in London, and TFI Friday. He has been acclaimed as one of the best tributes to Elvis and has recorded three songs for the Holywood film Lonely Street. Concert in aid of Cancer Lifeline.
'Finally after all these years someone who does Elvis justice.' - Tom Jones
Friday, August 25, 8.00pm at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast
What to expect: The walls of Crumlin Road ‘Gaolhouse’ in Belfast, will be shaking when the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club Northern Ireland hosts a special colour screening of Jailhouse Rock, followed by a video disco. The Fan Club have organised the event in aid of leading local social justice charity, Extern.
Doors open at Crumlin Road Gaol at 7.15pm, with the screening of Jailhouse Rock starting at 8.00pm. This will be followed by a video disco, auction and prize ballot.
The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club Northern Ireland is affiliated with Graceland, which means raising money for charity on an annual basis, following in Elvis’ footsteps, who each year, wrote 100 cheques every Christmas for $1,000 to different charitable bodies and undertook many more charitable gestures. His Aloha From Hawaii satellite concert in 1973 in aid of the Kui Lee Cancer Fund was seen by more people worldwide than watched the first moon landing.
Saturday, August 26, 8.30pm at the Empire Music Hall, Belfast
What to expect: The King may be dead but his spirit lives on. Almost 40 years on from his death on August 7 1977, C.C. Houlihan presents the ultimate Elvis show live on the Empire Music Hall stage.
Complete with the full live TCB band and backed by the wonderful harmonies of 'The Sweet Sensations', one of Europe's greatest tributes to the king of Rock and Roll takes you from the early Sun years, through to the Comeback Special and the final days of Vegas.
Winner of a slew of Elvis impersonator awards, including Best Gospel Elvis and the Elvis 4 Nations competition, and the European Elvis Championships, CC’s costumes are designed by the legend’s own designers, just one example of the lengths to which he’ll go to recreate and entertain.