A modest crowd were present in The Limelight when Gin Palace took to the stage, a Belfast based band that are fresh faced after only forming in 2018. The guys bring a quirky and unusual flavour with frontman Joel McCracken sharing vocals and playing a trumpet none the less. Multi-talented as song no.2 (Tripped The Light Fantastic) kicks in, he exchanges the trumpet for a Strat and joins fellow guitarist Daniel Donaghy in knocking out some melodic riffs to turn heads. Clearly very talented they showcase their variety as a musical act quite well.
This quartet has a nice melodic quality to their musical style, easy on the ear and not too fussy. At a canter they deliver a set with a swagger that goes beyond their youthful exterior. Hold the fort, a Funky breakdown at the end of track 2 turns more than a few heads in the Belfast crowd and demands their attention! Suits you sir! Four old souls knocking out easy listening, melodic numbers and for good measure throw in a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’. It suits their style as the crowd sways before them, clearly they have their own fan-base front and centre at the barrier for moral support, ‘I Am The One’ picks up the pace a bit as the boys try to end their set on a high, definetly one t watch on the N.Ireland music scene as this quartet should be here for the long haul.
And Now For Something Completely Different, shit just got real, or did it? A trio adorned in velour suit jackets dander onto the stage as a monologue plays over the PA explaining the origins of Elvana, stranger than fiction – Don’t ask! Finally the main man Elvis Cobain (I’ll just call him Pink Elvis) arrives front and centre as the room erupts. Adorned in a pink jumpsuit with matching pink sunglasses, he looked every bit the lunatic as he strut his stuff across the stage, already having the crowd eating out of his hand as the crowd are singing along in full voice and it’s only the opening number, clearly they’re here to P.A.R.T.Y!
By the end of tonight’s opening number Pink Elvis is already on the barriers encouraging the adoring fans to get involved, acknowledging the fans infront of him he singles out a guy in a wheelchair beside me for praise as he reaches out to shake his hand. As he climbs back up ont the stage we get to see the cape on his back “King Of Hearts’ with matching belt buckle which seems apt going by the crowds response. Time to talk to the crowd, “How the fuck y’all doin’?, we’re Elvana from Disgraceland and tonight sometimes I might sound like Nicholas Cage, sometimes I might sound Like Matthew McConaghey, Sometimes I might sound even like Kurt Cobain, but I definitely will not sound like Elvis! Do I care, absolutely fucking not!”
As they launch into ‘Bloom’ the room goes ape-shit, and the gathered masses loose their minds. A wall of distortion envelops the room and as I turn to see the crowd from front to back, it is bouncing like their lives depended on it. A personality big enough to fill the room on his own, Pink Elvis is relentless with his energy levels as he busts one move after another, girating his hips in a hypnotic way that drives the ladies wild. (Don’t quote me on that) When ‘Breed’ / ‘Viva Las Vegas’ rips across the PA another level of insanity consumes the crowd and envelopes the room like a wave, a packed out Limelight just embraces everything Elvana has to throw at them.
Costume change time, Pink Elvis has left the building and White Elvis has joined us, the king is dead, long live the king? Adorned now in a white jumpsuit adorned with a multi coloured phoenix they lash into ‘Molly’s Lips with gusto. Time to introduce the band and for a bit of craic he singles out the bass player #bassguy who apparently doesn’t like the limelight, or getting laid, hence why he plays bass. As he mocks poor #bassguy he sings a Taylor Swift melody to make his shame prolonged. From the humiliation of #bassguy to calling a fan out to sing the intro of a song, he did announce a disclaimer beforehand saying not to embarrase yourselves, pissed getting up singing thinking you’re great etc, clearly nobody listened. #pureshite, but alas it did make one fans night no doubt.
As they pause to a slight break and rejoin us for the encore, White Elvis tells us that the musicianship tonight has been sub par and thus he has fired the band, boo’s ring out and he announces instead The Priscilla’s shall be joining us for the remainder, three guys in black dresses with blonde wigs and pigtails? We just entered Twillight Zone territory here, White Elvis hits the floor walking out into the middle of the crowd and he whips the up into a frenzy, as expected when ‘A Little Less Conversation / ‘Teen Spirit’ starts the room just looses its mind, the biggest cheer of the night reserved for Nirvana’s groundbreaking song.
The night easily have ended right there on a massive high, but the guys knock out a few more tracks before White Elvis explains that a guy from Newcastle Upon Tyne, pretending to be Elvis, pretending to be Kurt Cobain, is just a boy looking for a girl to love him! (No wait, confused.com) is now pretending to be David Bowie.
A magical night indeed, if you’re someone who can embrace the likes of Spinal Tap, Tragedy, and the infamous Steel Panther, then Elvana are for you. A fun filled festive experience not for the faint hearted, Elvana are an experience like no other and simply have to be experienced for yourself.
Photography : Darren McVeigh / Metal Planet Music