Ladees and gen’l’men, thank you. Thank you very much.
And I say that, in lip-curled Mississippi drawl, most humbly and sincerely, to the folk who made my belated 50th party go with such a pelvic swing.
For one night only, Elvis was in the building – alive, kicking and multiplied a hundred times or more.
I sure wasn’t lonesome on Saturday; we were wall to wall Elvi, which so ought to be the plural of Elvis and not the name of a retailer of elegant size 16 to 26 clothing and accessories for the mature woman – a label I discovered the existence of while searching eBay for anything Elvis-related. Images of voluminious pastel mother-of-the-bride suits kept popping up.
Nigh on 34 years from being woken by my weeping mother, wailing that the King of R&R had died, he rolled into Rotherham and proved the boy from Tupelo, Mississippi not only lives on, but is now a unifying force encompassing every gender, sexual persuasion, race and social class.
Elvis the Legend; Elvis the great social leveller. Our Elvi came in all shapes, ages, colours and creeds. There was a black one, an Indian one, scores of female ones, teenage versions, crinkly granny and grandad ones and very many short, middle-aged chubby ones, wigs akimbo and cheap white nylon catsuits stretched taut as drumskins over bellies ripened through years of real ale-quaffing, One in particular, whom I believe is very high up in the civil service, took to the dancefloor and man, he put his seams to the stress test. My gratitude goes out to each and every one for being game enough to turn up, all Presley and correct.
And let’s hear it for the unpaid roadies and stage-hands, without whom a middle-aged woman only recently off crutches (still hobbling, toes now blue and vowing never again to carry a laundry basket downstairs at midnight – which come to think of it sounds like something the Jam could use as a lyric) could not have achieved her dream. (Sing it fellas... While I can think, while I can talk, While I can stand, while I can walk, while I can dream, please let my dreee-ee-eam come true...)
They helped me greatly with the decor; dead Elvi. The best one was Elvis slumped on a toilet, clutching the Life’s A Bitch page in the Sheffield Star. Read into that what you will. (Tip: if you ever need a fake body; do it with a duvet.
Pull the corners down two trouser legs, the other two down the arms of a shirt and job’s a good ‘un).
A round of applause for Undercover, the band – particularly the drummer, who never even told us his cat was in intensive care, and my stylists, Cath of Parson Cross, seamstress ex-Jordinaire, maker of the perfect Vegas Hilton stage suit (with cape) and neighbour Marj, whose hairdressing skills are as strong as her hairspray.
And last but not least, a big thank you to the great man himself; the King. I refer, of course, to Bloke, resplendent in fringed stretch Lycra, all his visible grey bits sprayed to blackness and a pair of hiking socks down his pants.