Newham’s Elvis tribute star to entertain troops

Newham’s very own Elvis tribute artist Sal Bashir will soon be heading off to Cyprus to entertain British troops stationed overseas.

Sal, who was born in east London, is a regular at the Newham Town Show, and is a successful Asian Elvis tribute artist.

Last year he starred in a film called Punk Strut, a comedy that was a modern day look at former punks who reunited for a show in Bognor Regis.

Now he will be flying out to Cyprus to perform at the Officer’s Mess for British Troops at Episkopi.

He told the Recorder: “I was performing for a corporate function in Norfolk earlier this year, and one of the guest’s works at the base was very impressed with my act and put my name forward for the Summer Event in Cyprus.

“I am doing just the one show, but it will be a two hour set encompassing the greatest hits of the best selling artist of all time, The King- Elvis! They like the way I mingle with the audience and interact to make the crowd very much a part of the whole show.

“Everyone on this planet is an Elvis fan! I refuse to accept that not one single person has at least one favourite Elvis track or owns an Elvis hits album somewhere. The Forces do love Elvis, and the fact that I’ve done numerous show for RAF bases up and down the British Isles is a testament to the wide appeal Elvis still has nearly 35 years after his death on August 16 1977.

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Sal said: “I’m honoured. My grand dad served in the (then British Indian Army before partition in 1947) and fought alongside the British in the Second World War. Many people forget how important India was, and the pivotal role it played in securing a safer world since. Elvis himself was a soldier, a proper regular Private. He declined to join the entertainment regiment preferring to take his duties seriously and asked for no special favours.”

His career as an Elvis tribute artist began in 1997 when he was spotted singing in a local bar by a promoter who approached him with an offer. Although Sal initially said no, he was asked several months later and accepted. His first performance as the King was in Forest Gate in front of a delighted audience and he ha has never looked back.