Meeting Kelvis: A chat with Kevin, Romford’s own Elvis Presley tribute
- Credit: Dara Khaled
For the last 15 years, Kevin Elsbury has transformed into Elvis just to put on a show for the people of Romford.
The 64-year-old, who has named himself Kelvis, appears at Romford Market every Saturday decked out in his £350 suit from America the famous Elvis wig and carrying his ‘boogie box’ and microphone.
Before he became Kelvis he would dress up as other singers; he used to enjoy performing Simply the Best by Tina Turner.
Kevin worked for Tesco for 33 years until he retired at 55 to care for his mother before she passed away, and it was then that he decided “to do more to make people happy" and "make people laugh".
“Everyone knows me, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing when you live on your own as well, it is just nice to get out," Kevin said. "Lucky enough I have good friends.”
Refusing to accept money, Kevin told this newspaper he takes on the challenge purely for entertainment and to uplift the community - he will, however, accept cans of coke and tea as refreshments.
"Last Saturday there were about 15 people sitting round Kelly’s kitchen [Kells Street Kitchen] having a cup of tea and one lady came up and said: 'Can I buy you something to eat?'
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"I said no, and they told her 'he only drinks, buy him a coke', and I am happy with that.
"I don’t feel the need to take money, I am just happy to be a personality and make people happy.”
His performances at the market last up to two hours as he performs all of the Elvis classics from My Baby Left Me to Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear.
Kelvis is not limited to performances in Romford Market, and has also been hired for private events for a small amount of cash.
He was a volunteer with The Salvation Army for two years, but wants to do more with charities, he told this newspaper, as he believes he could raise money for great causes as Kelvis.
Get in touch with Kevin at 07870519474.