Memphis Cowboys bring some magic to the Parkes Elvis Festival

MEMPHIS COWBOYS: From back to front on stairs Umberto De Belis, Frank De Belis, JD Rocker and Rocco Papalia; left - Rachel Kinred; right - Vince and Melissa Gelonese. Photo: Barbara Watt.
MEMPHIS COWBOYS: From back to front on stairs Umberto De Belis, Frank De Belis, JD Rocker and Rocco Papalia; left - Rachel Kinred; right - Vince and Melissa Gelonese. Photo: Barbara Watt.

They may not be strictly Elvis, but The Memphis Cowboys have a huge Parkes Elvis Festival based fan following.

This is the second year the Gold Coast cover band have wowed festival audiences with their diverse range of country, pop, rock, rockabilly and rock n roll covers.

Frontman, #1 USA Billboard chart artist Vince Gelonese, is in town for his 10th festival.

“I initially started coming here as a solo, then a duo and we built from there,” he said.

“It’s been a gradual climb, we started out at the Royal Hotel.

“That was amazing but I think we outgrew it.

“Luckily the same owners also own the Cambridge so we’ve moved with them.”

Although Vince doesn’t class himself as an Elvis Tribute Artist, he does do Elvis - jumpsuit and all.

“I’ve gone in a couple of comps for fun,” he said.

“But I’ve always been more a musician with bands.

“I’ve been with our drummer, Rocco Papalia, for 18 years and this particular band has been together for two years now.”  

Vince said the band really enjoys coming to Parkes.

“What I love about the Elvis Festival is that we are reliving some of those great songs and what the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did for music - he left an incredible legacy,” Vince said.

“It’s got an amazing following, it’s good fun, it’s good music, it brings people together on an emotional level, on a personal level.

“It just takes people back, the nostalgia, and it’s a fun weekend, everybody gets involved, they get dressed up and they just come for fun and music.”

Vince’s wife Melissa believes the band is so popular because there is something special about them.

“There is something magic that goes on onstage,” she said.

“I’ve been coming to Parkes for quite a few years with Vince and one thing I’ve noticed is as soon as anyone comes in and sees the Memphis Cowboys performing they are hooked.  

“It’s just building and building because they’ve got like a magic that goes on.

“It’s quite addictive to the public, it’s catching.”

And will they be back in 2020 to do their regular gig at the Parkes Elvis Festival?

“Absolutely, it’s good fun,” Vince said.

You can catch the Memphis Cowboys playing covers from all the greats including Keith Urban, Stray Cats, Shakin’ Stevens, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Vince Gill, and many more at the Cambridge Hotel.

Vince Gelonese's #1 USA Billboard chart song Every Dream