The Gilda Brook Social Club, formerly Eccles Liberal Club, came under the new management of Graham Heatley in December, and I spoke to event co-ordinator Barbara Bennett about the plans for the venue and an upcoming visit from The King of Rock n' Roll.
Alongside booking established acts, they are keen to open The Gilda Brook doors to the community: "We'd like young acts to get involved and use us a rehearsal space and venue, too", Barbara explained*. However, The Gilda Brook will continue to provide quality traditional entertainment. On the 26th March, one of the regions finest acts, David Presley as Elvis, will be down to perform his stellar set.
On Mother's Day, David hits the stage in Eccles to give a unique tribute to The King, Elvis Presley, although he is eager to point out that it's not your typical tribute act. Over his performance, he delivers many aspects of a legendary career and much more.
As you would expect all the key ingredients are there, from Jailhouse Rock to Suspicious Minds, but it is an act unlike the others. David has clearly worked hard to capture the vocals, mannerisms and charisma of The King, but he likes to add his own spin. This Elvis wants you to be involved in the show. In fact, he insists on it!
He puts on a great show with a sense of fun, shifting effortlessly from Hound Dog right through to Viva Las Vegas, and describes it as, "a celebration of everything that is the legend of Elvis Presley". It's the King in all his glory, from rock'n'roll rebel turned GI heart-throb, to leather-clad icon, to Las Vegas show-stopper... "I love all of his songs and like to mix it up at every show to keep it fresh" he says.
David Presley manages to pull it off with enough style to make you want to be a part of the show, whether it's learning the snake hip moves to Burning Love or gyrating in a grass skirt on stage. He even throws in the odd iconic reference, like Elvis' lyric change that mocked a bald audience member whilst performing Are You Lonesome Tonight.
He also has a surprise in store for the day of the show, but would prefer to keep it under wraps... "Highlights are the audience participation parts" he explains "but I would not want to spoil it by letting the cat out of the bag."
David enjoys the interaction and believes that this makes every show a unique experience. While he loves to be a showman and getting the audience involved in the performance, he acknowledges the main reason that people are there..."The show is not about me, it's about Elvis. People come to be entertained and I duly oblige..."
David gives one hell of performance to punters, whether they are serious Elvis aficionados or newcomers in search of quality entertainment. His set features the classics and some of the big numbers like Bridge Over Troubled Water and American Trilogy. There is also a section where he sings alongside The King: "The parts I really love is when I duet with the man himself, Elvis" he says...
...And with that David bids me farewell, and Elvis has left the building.
Mother's Day Matinee Elvis Ultimate Tribute
Sunday 26th March 2pm-6pm
The Gilda Brook Social Club
34 Wellington Road, Eccles M30 0NP
This is a family event and it's £10 per adult, buffet included and kids eat free.
Contact Barbara on 07743 888585 for tickets and more information, or call into the club. *Also, get in touch if you are local performer in need of rehearsal space or would like to hire one of the function rooms for an event or occasion. Call in any evening after 7pm (except Tuesday).
See also The Gilda Brook Social Club on Facebook for more details - click here
Words by Ian Leslie