Chris Jacobs on honouring Elvis and keeping his music alive through the Burning Love series

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Chris Jacobs on honouring Elvis and keeping his music alive through the Burning Love series

Words by Benjamin Lamb

Off the back of the exclusive ‘Elvis: Direct From Graceland exhibition’, Burning Love at Bendigo is the epic new contemporary music series celebrating the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley.

The King is back. Well sort of, Australia’s got Elvis fever at the moment, between the upcoming Aussie produced Elvis film, the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition, and the Burning Love concert series, we can’t seem to get enough of the star. 

The Burning Love series has been taking over Bendigo over the last couple of weeks, bringing music to hundreds of adoring fans. Chris Jacobs fronts The Burning Lovers, a group that pays tribute to the iconic music of the King, his group being an integral part of the concert series.

Exclusive to Bendigo, ‘Elvis: Direct from Graceland’ celebrates the extraordinary life and style of Elvis Presley

Bendigo’s Burning Love concert series combines Elvis’ musical legacy and local musicians for a larger-than-life live music experience 

“It’s actually exceeded our expectations in every way,” Chris says about the string of shows. “Every room has been so much fun.

Over the last few weeks, there have been performances from Gabriella Cohen, Freya Josephine Hollick and Emma Donovan, each dazzling fans with their unique old school stylings with modern vibes. 

The Burning Lovers follow their sets, playing a collection of Elvis’ best tracks, letting fans dance the night away.

“We come on with the second set, where people can really let down their hair and dance,” Chris adds. “The familiarity of Elvis catalogue is great to get people up and out of their chairs, it’s really nice to be a part of that.”

There are fans of all types at The Burning Lovers gigs, thanks to Elvis moving back into the mainstream, younger fans are heading to shows, alongside older demographics who grew up with the music of the King. 

“We are seeing some younger people discover Elvis, and I think it’s just wonderful that his music translates across generations.

“At a show, one guy caught my attention, a regular average guy, he could’ve been a truck driver for all I know. 

“He sat there with his eyes closed during our show, singing every word with tears streaming down his face. 

“It makes it all so real, and an honour to play.” 

There’s no question that Elvis Presley’s music is able to connect with audiences in a way unlike much else out there, it’ll chuck a smile on your face, and definitely get you up and moving. 

“They’re just so fun to play, the reason people want to get out of their seats or even just get up and clap is just that they are great songs, they’re iconic pop songs that still hold up all these years on.

“It’s a chance for us to walk down memory lane as well, you can’t deny the influence that Elvis and his music had on the world.”

Decades on, the life, music and style of Elvis continue to live on, the latter being celebrated in the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition, which Burning Love is running alongside. 

“The fact that we can offer some live music to those visitors who are hungry for it based on having visited the exhibition is really terrific.” Chris and his band honour the amazing musicianship and instrumentation behind Elvis’ many records, mainly focusing on the earlier days. 

“Our instrumentation is double bass, guitars, drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitars, it’s very rudimentary rockabilly band instrumentation; like you’d hear on a lot of his early Sun Records material. 

“I feel like we’re a little bit better suited to the early Elvis rock’n’roll classics, and that’s what a lot of people enjoy.”

There’s one more weekend of the Burning Lover series, where fans will get to experience the music of Cool Sounds, and one last set from the Burning Lovers. 

“We’ve got one more performance on Saturday night after Cool Sounds, people should definitely come because Bendigo has Elvis fever at the moment, the atmosphere is just fantastic, it’s great to see people re-embracing live music after the last few years. 

The show is taking place at the Engine Room, an iconic Bendigo venue that really helps the music of Elvis work to its fullest capacity.

“It’s a fantastic venue, everyone has a great view, and it’s quite spacious too, so people can have a dance, and move around, which is fantastic. 

“I also have to give credit to the production teams, the show’s sound quality and everything from our perspective has been first class. 

Burning Love starring Cool Sounds + The Burning Lovers will take place at The Engine Room, 58 View Street, Bendigo on Saturday, June 11. Come and check what it’s all about this weekend, grab your tickets here

This article was made in partnership with Hear Them Holler and Bendigo Venues & Events.