Take one hot night up in the Circle, a packed auditorium of Elvis devotees, and all you need to add to the mix is Chris Connor; or so his publicity would have you believe!
His 9 piece band, the Steels, meandered onto the stage, the 2 backing vocalists took their seats demurely, and we waited…
Well, he certainly looked the part, and rocked the black leather outfit, but it was a bit of a shaky start and I actually couldn’t make out a word of ‘Guitar Man’, the opening song, and his contortions were painful rather than seductive, but the wildly partisan audience were already clapping along, and the atmosphere was being created to encourage his efforts.
I’m glad to report that something caused the desired effect, as ‘Hound Dog ‘ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ were much more barnstorming in performance, and Chris was hitting his stride with style. He is a powerful vocalist, and the audience were joining in enthusiastically, but the Elvis swagger was missing and I was beginning to think that only hard core fans were really going to love this concert.
However, a re-appearance in a white fringed outfit, which did great things for his butt!, and a change of pace worked wonders as Chris Connor the balladeer emerged and that is when I could really warm to the integrity of the show.
We were drawn in by ‘Love me Tender’, positively seduced by ‘Memories’( made me cry), and then the great emotional ballads came thick and fast. In the Ghetto’ through to ‘Suspicious Minds’ had me hooked, while ‘ How great thou art’ and ‘ American Trilogy’ had me singing at the top of my voice: I know how to have a good time, though apologies to anyone sitting too close to me!
I’m not sure why there were no programmes available, nor why the live screening and video projection didn’t happen, as this would have added an extra dimension to the show, but Chris Connor did a sterling job during his first appearance at the Playhouse, and I’m hoping he will make a return performance next year.
Make a note to catch him if you can
See what else is on at The Playhouse, Weston