Monday 20 November 2017

All shook up at Vegas victory

Fiona Ellis

The faded glory of Porthcawl on the south Wales coast is given a touch of glamour each September at a quirky international Elvis Festival.

Dubliner Ciaran Houlihan slipped on his blue suede shoes and put on his sequin jumpsuit to win Best Vegas Elvis category at the weekend event.

The category is a tribute to Elvis during his comeback years in the 1970s.

The 31-year-old Dubliner was "flabbergasted" when he realised he was selected to perform. He sang 'Burning Love', 'Suspicious Minds' and 'Hurt'.

"I didn't even expect to be selected to perform there. It's the biggest festival of its kind in the world," he said.

"When I won I was absolutely thrilled. I am very proud and feel very privileged. It makes all the hard work worthwhile, studying the moves and the voice of Elvis."

Last year, more than 38,000 people attended the festival to celebrate and watch the best of Elvis tribute performers from all over the world.

"One of the judges was Charles Stone, who was the tour manger of Elvis, so it is really great to be judged by people who actually knew Elvis," said Mr Houlihan.

The gong is the latest in a long line of awards which Mr Houlihan has amassed at home and abroad.

He has high hopes for the World Festival of Elvis this January and is pressing his rhinestone jumpsuits in anticipation.

Irish Independent

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