Due to the good press this party received in print and on television the TCB Band, with some backing by members from Mondo Carne and the Elf=Grace Band, together with a line-up of international artists, in a full house (nearly 1500 people).
The Elf=Grace band was performing when we entered and they put up a very good show with a lot of original songs you don’t hear very often, including the newly discovered “I’m A Roustabout”. The band sounded rock-solid and made us think of the Blues Brothers in their rendition of several Elvis classics.
Rene Shuman, who shot to fame in The Netherlands after winning a sound mix show impersonating Elvis, did a few songs, but in comparison with Jenson Bloomer who came on stage after him the division between “the boy” and “the man” was very clear. Jenson and the guys from the TCB Band obviously enjoyed each others company very much, and you could see the fun they have on stage back in their rocking performance. Without any doubt this part of the show was the highlight.
Frederique Spigt, who usually performs in Dutch, laid down a rocking show too, proving that women cannot only perform Elvis’ songs in a ballad style, but also in a sweaty rocking way. The teen idol Tim Akkerman from the popular band Di-rect, did a tender version of “In The Ghetto”. It was a pity he lost some of the lyrics, but he recovered very well and fortunately he left his white suit at home (the press announced he would perform in “an original jumpsuit”). Just like all artists performing with the TCB band he knew he was on stage with a few legends and pointed out that he as a young “boy” was proud to be on stage with them and paying tribute to Elvis with the performance that evening.
After Eric Corton (Dutch singer and television maker) who did two songs in a raw and rocking style, the legendary (well, in The Netherlands) Lee Towers closed the line-up of Dutch artists. Lee received an award from Graceland a few years back as recognition of his positive performances and promotion of Elvis. Although over sixty years old he performed a few rockers and closed with several heavily vocal tracks. The horn section and backing vocals were real value added, but unfortunately Lee wasn’t really to a lot of people. It became obviously busier near the shop and bars when he was singing. After Lee Towers the disc jockey took control over the audio-set playing Elvis for the after party. With a few autographs and a free Elvis promo CD the fans left “paradise”.
Due to the press before and after the event, most Dutch people were remembered of Elvis and know now his birthday is on January 8th.