Review: Ben Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall

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‘We love you Elvis!’ came the clarion call from somewhere at the back of the Guildhall audience.

There was no doubt that the woman’s heartfelt salutation was directed not at the man on stage, but straight to the King himself.

And that has to be testament to the incredibly-lifelike tribute to Elvis Presley presented by Ben Portsmouth.

He hardly bounced into his namesake city - the bout of pneumonia that forced him to call off his pre-Christmas show and spend ‘three weeks on the coach watching Jeremy Kyle’ left him, by his own admission, a little rusty.

But he showed what a true trouper he is by battling through short breath, blocked nose and not-yet-fullly-restored voice to spark more than a little Elvis-mania in the Guildhall audience.

He played the crowd, making repeated references to Pompey and his father’s roots in the city and handing out even more scarves - and the majority of them blue or white - than you’ll see in the Fratton End on a Saturday afternoon.

He looks hauntingly like Elvis, he moves just like Elvis, and his voice is no mean tribute to the man who changed the world.

There is and always will be only one King. But search as high and wide as you like, you’ll not find a better pretender to the throne than this fella.