15 June 2014
Reviewed by Fabio Amato
Parking is a bit of a pain, as spaces in the town centre are limited, however they are a number of paid car parks within walking distance of the theatre itself.
The theatre is starting to look a little dated, however I think that it’s ageing appearance adds to its charm and character. It’s very “matinee” and cosy, but the pink decor does nothing for me visually. The ceilings are very high, like that of a grand theatre, not as large as a cathedral and as such lends itself to some very pleasing acoustics, that dissipate the bass frequencies nicely and avoid the “woofy” mush that loud volumes tend to generate in small spaces. The facilities, which I only used once look like that they’ve had a recent renovation. The rest of theatre looked to be in good repair, considering the age of the building.
The overall ambience of the evening was pleasant. As you can imagine, an Elvis tribute act tends to attract the middle aged to elderly theatre goers. People were polite and dressed for the night. Halifax is a nice town anyway and I’ve had many a nice night there. The theatre staff were very polite and attentive, all with smiles on their faces. Who could ask for more?
The show itself was incredibly impressive. The Elvis Years is more than just another run-of-the-mill tribute show by a guy with a quiff and some questionable backing tracks. This was easily the best and most provocative Elvis show that I’ve ever seen. To call Mario Kombou (Elvis) a tribute, would be akin to calling a Ferrari just a car. He is a tall Mediterranean looking heart-throb who single handedly, between his charming charisma, dashing good looks and incredible vocal talent, sent the ambient room temperature from a comfortable twenty degrees to somewhere in the nineties. His unique repertoire and faithful retelling of the story of The King was both emotive and interactive.
The band itself consisted of a single guitar player, bassist, drummer and keyboard player. “Elvis” even had two female backing singers who themselves performed a couple of solo numbers whilst he changed outfits regularly throughout the course of the show. The instrumentalists and singers were of an exceptional calibre and played well together like band of twenty or thirty years would play. Sonically, the instruments fit well together and were EQ’d to remain faithful to the original music.
The show itself started with Elvis’s beginnings, all the way through to his sell out shows and numerous television appearances. They even showed him being drafted into the American Army to fulfil his compulsory military service. I thought the show was quite simply a Tour de Force and my only two criticisms are that such a talented show should be performing to much larger audiences and venues and as an entirely self-serving comment, two hours was simply not enough from an audience’s perspective.
Overall my mother and I were thoroughly satisfied and my mother even grabbed a cheeky kiss from him when he ventured into the audience and gave out scarves to the wobbly kneed ladies in the audience. Mario Kombou is a lovely guy who stayed behind after the show to meet his fans and pose for photos. What more could an Elvis fan wish for?
I would easily rate the show a 5/5 and will be more than happy to see it again. I would also jump at the opportunity to recommend The Elvis Years to be Elvis and non-Elvis enthusiasts alike.
The Elvis Years 1954-1977 starring Mario in currently touring the UK with the next stop at the Swan Theatre, High Wycombe on 3 July 2014. For more information and tour dates visit www.theelvisyears.com.
Victoria Theatre, Fountain Street, Halifax HX1 1BP | Box Office: 01422 351158