The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth


At Rock Regeneration headquarters there’s a growing anti-movement towards one reviewer’s love of a good tribute (i.e. me)! When I heard Elvana were coming to my town I snapped up a pair of tickets early. A friend had highly recommended them on the back of a packed tent performance down the road at Camp Bestival. I decided the YouTube footage alone was going to be enough to get me excited. And so when the date finally came around we arrived open-minded, and left quite literally blown away!

Only on the night did I find out there was a support band. Step forward Oxford-based Kanadia, an experimental Alt/Rock act with the dubious honour of warming up this sold-out venue for the main event. The fact that their sound is so far removed from the main attraction may have helped, but they fair well on tonight’s performance. They arrive onstage, still setting up their instruments and sound checking. Once they are good to go they open with a new (unnamed) song. James (guitar/vox) vocalises through pained expressions on this experimental opener. Melissa (keys) is somewhat hidden to his right while Tim (drums) keeps the beat. “Hold It Down” follows as they grow in confidence. Jack (bass) shoegazes almost throughout yet is no less proficient. The chords at times are scratchy while Tim’s snare hitting is powerful throughout. James’s vocals early on have a pained yet heartfelt honesty to them, until they unleash new single “Masterplan” which has hints of Muse. Two more new songs are debuted to this audience and I detect hints of Catherine Wheel, Pearl Jam and QOTSA (to name three). “Meet The End” seems somewhat appropriate to finish as they end on a high and leave to decent applause.


What comes next will not be forgotten in this town for quite some time. Step forward “Elvana”, a double-headed tribute one might say. The next 90 minutes is one hell of a show based purely on exuberance, entertainment, and good old-fashioned RnR.

The band arrives onstage first while “Elvis Cobain” keeps us waiting. A couple of minutes later he appears, dancing onto the stage – hips and arms swinging, ready to roll. They open with “Trouble”, which is rather apt considering the early sound issues. “Stay Away” is deafening amid a huge bass turned up way too loud. “Jailhouse Rock/In Bloom” should’ve been the catalyst for the night to explode into life but this time the mic’s let Elvis down! Finally, halfway through the glitches are erased and “In Bloom” sees the first bit of crowd movement. “School/In The Ghetto” sees the first harmonies and crowd singalongs and puts this crowd at ease.

“Love Buzz” sees Elvis hand out roses to ladies in the audience while the band just jam. Early highlight “Breed/Viva Las Vegas” sees some energetic leaping down the front from some fifty=somethings who should know better! “Drain You” also had a mash-up with an Elvis number that escapes my memory before they delve deeper into the back catalogue.


Three straight Nirvana tunes precede a brilliant ‘Lithium/Heartbreak Hotel/Lithium’ mash-up and Elvis is in his element. With Rob’s bass now sounding just right Bobby is pounding the skins at the back. Danny (guitars) is no less proficient, swapping banter in between. “Dumb” precedes a huge singalong in the shape of “Territorial Pissings/Suspicious Minds”, which sees one punter get the chance to scream the opening lyrics before the band gets this whole room singing in unison. To save having to depart the stage and costume changes in car parks, encores are omitted tonight. They save the best ’til last with a truly emotional “Can’t Help Falling In Love/Heart Shaped Box” where Elvis leaves the stage and joins the crowd. Again this induces a euphoric singalong which just runs and runs. However, no-one witnessing the band for the first time could’ve predicted “A Little Less Conversation/Smells Like Teen Spirit” working, but it’s pure theatre as the band brilliantly meld the two together. Cue manic moshing down the front as they bring things down a touch with “Come As You Are”.

At some point “Rape Me” is played, again inducing a stadium-sized singalong. “All Apologies” precedes closing track “The Man Who Stole The World”. Elvis introduces the song proclaiming ‘this will be a Geordie singing in the voice of Bowie, through Elvis and then Kurt. He doesn’t disappoint as he coolly replicates all three note perfect. Heartfelt, emotional and the perfect ending to a fantastic night’s entertainment. All four band members then take a bow before exiting the stage.

For 90 minutes we have been entertained this evening by a superb bunch of musicians and a frontman with all the moves and swagger of the aforementioned artists he is replicating. If you only go to one tribute show this year then I implore you to go and see Elvana – pure energy, entertainment and fun.

New song
Hold It Down
My Oh My
New song (2)
New song (3)
Meet the End

Stay Away
Serve the Servants
Jailhouse Rock/In Bloom
School/In The Ghetto
Love Buzz
Breed/Viva Las Vegas
Drain You
Pennyroyal Tea
Been a Son
Heartbreak Hotel/Lithium
Territorial Pissings/Suspicious Minds
Rape Me
Can’t Help Falling in Love/Heart Shaped Box
A Little Less Conversation/Smells Like Teen Spirit
Come As You Are
All Apologies
The Man Who Stole The World (David Bowie cover)


Review, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.

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