BEN Portsmouth’s Taking Care of Elvis revue is so much more than a mere tribute or homage: It’s a virtual re-incarnation.
Rightly hailed as the world’s Number One Elvis act, with a number of prestige international titles tucked under his rhinestone-buckled belt, Ben has got the voice, the look, the swagger, the charisma and the gyrating pelvis that makes women of a certain age come over all unnecessary and guarantee there won’t be a dry seat left in the house.
A packed Weymouth Pavilion - including the resort’s very own Elvis, Jumpin’ Jimmy Thunder, spotted in the foyer and curling his lip admiringly in the stalls - was treated to a two-hour spectacle of The King’s explosive 20-plus year career.
Kicking off with gold tuxedo Elvis from the Sun era and Shake, Rattle and Roll, swiftly followed by GI Elvis and GI Blues, Ben invited birthday girl Val up from the audience, eventually, to be serenaded with I Can’t Help Falling in Love
But it was black leather Elvis from the legendary ’68 Comeback show who stole the first half, notably with the remarkable Jan from Swanage being escorted onstage to shake her not inconsiderable maracas to Baby, What I’d Say, and uncanny versions of Kentucky Rain and In The Ghetto.
Although hailing from Berkshire, Ben adopts an authentic Elvis drawl, and was full of praise for his first visit to Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast. He’s also incorporated Elvis’s goofy humour when introducing his superb drummer Damon Sawyer as ‘Reg Varney from On The Buses’.
Side two was pure Las Vegas with enough cheese to put the entire audience into a lactose intolerant coma, but, you know what? Who cares? It was fantastic!
This was white rhinestone jumpsuit Elvis, with all the karate kicks and kung fu poses, launching teddy bears into the crowd, hurling a cuddly monkey into the circle, giving away scores of sweat-soaked scarves to the front row, and tearing up classic Elvis numbers, Burning Love, Unchained Melody, Just Can’t Help Believing, My Way, Suspicious Minds, all present and correct and delivered superbly by Ben’s immaculately attired and accomplished Taking Care of Elvis ten-piece band of Matthew Platt on keys, Billy Burke on guitar, Allan 'Sparkie' Dalton on bass, backing singers Samantha Smith, Lauraine McIntosh and Lorrain Briscoe and brass section Anatoliy Vyacheslavov, Joe Morris and Steve Hayes.
What a show!

Definitely a night to remember, so come back to sunny Weymouth soon, Ben.