There are two types of music, good and bad
The quote above comes from Alfie Boe who is endlessly asked about his broad musical choices and indeed, this love of and willingness to sing as many genres of music as possible, has gained him many fans. It should be noted however, that this all encompassing approach to music has sometimes meant that critics and some fans are a little confused by Alfie's career! Very broadly speaking, Alfie's fans fall into three main camps: those who love his classical roots, those who love rock Alfie and those who love absolutely everything he's ever done. Some of the latter camp ended up there having started as a classical or rock fan, myself included.
Like many other fans I found Alfie through Les Miserables and quickly became immersed in the rest of his quite considerable recording output. This was back in 2012 and at that time, Alfie was starting to incorporate a fair amount of Elvis songs in his live act, going on to record I Can't Help Falling In Love for his Storyteller album that year. This made me very happy as I have been a fan of Elvis for as long as I can remember - surely I'm in the majority here - and it seemed to me that Alfie must also be a fan. This was confirmed when Alfie's autobiography, My Story, was released that year; Alfie mentions that he first started listening to Elvis through his brother Joe who was a big fan. He remains a fan to this day, listing Elvis as a major musical influence in several interviews, noting that Elvis's Now or Never is the same tune as O Sole Mio - Alfie performed them both at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert that year:
The release of My Story also revealed that Alfie's choice of song for his triumph at the West London Karaoke Championship 1994 was an Elvis number beloved of such contests, Suspicious Minds. Alfie returned to this moment in his 2013 Carfest South set to the joy of the entire crowd including Carfest host Chris Evans.
Alfie has continued his love affair with Elvis songs since then, recording and performing live a number of what are presumably his favourite tracks; a recent poll conducted for www.thoughtsofjustafan.com to celebrate what would have been Elvis's 80th birthday revealed that the favourite Alfie singing Elvis songs are:
If I can Dream
Now or Never
Always on My Mind
Can't Help Falling in Love
Had Elvis still been with us, it would be tempting to dream of an Alfie / Elvis duet but of course with the wonders of modern technology, that could still happen. Elvis has duetted with several singers in recent years and even toured the UK a few years ago, albeit from the screen on the stage! Who knows, Alfie may follow the trend of releasing albums of duets and feature The King himself!
A version of this article first appeared on www.thoughtsofjustafan.com.