Orbison tribute has real Steele

The Roy Orbison Story, Grand Theatre

By The Newsroom
Monday, 20th February 2017, 12:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:34 pm
Barry Steele
Barry Steele

Roy Orbison had arguably one of the most distinct voices of his - or anyone’s - era.

So to recreate his music and pay homage to his talent is a tough challenge for any tribute act.

But Barry Steele, who marked a decade of touring with his Roy Orbison show by coming to Blackpool for the first time, came as close as anyone could reasonably expect to emulating the great man.

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He tells the musical journey of the ‘Big O’ chronologically, starting off with Ooby Dooby recorded at the world famous Sun Studios.

The first half focused on Orbison’s 60s hits such as Love Hurts and It’s Over, while his life story is depicted in words and images on a screen.

The death of his first wife and two of his children mean this is a story heavy with tragedy, conveyed in the haunting ballad Crying.

After the interval, the music moved on to Orbison’s late career comeback, the Black and White Night special and the Traveling Wilbury’s.

Steele does capture Orbison’s speaking voice and mannerisms, while the band’s 60s style set-up and musicianship evoked those early years of the hit parades.

An encore of Pretty Woman got the audience on their feet.

Shelagh Parkinson