Australia

Aussie Elvis' Blue Suede Thongs tribute

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Elvis tribute artists, lookalikes and fans flooded Sydney's Central Station to board the Blue Suede Express to the 27th Parkes Elvis Festival.

Elvis probably wasn't talking about navy thongs when he recorded Blue Suede Shoes in the 1950s.

But that didn't stop 38-year-old lookalike Luke Barden from donning a pair to go with his sequinned gold jacket and Hawaiian shirt, en route to the 27th annual Parkes Elvis Festival.

Elvis impersonators board the Blue Suede Express
Parkes is about to be all shook up. (AAP)
AAP

"(It's) an Australian touch," the Brisbane local told AAP.

After all, as his uncle Damien Barden said: "It gets quite hot in Parkes."

The pair, dressed in matching hand-crafted costumes, were among hundreds of Elvis tribute artists, lookalikes and fans who flooded Sydney's Central Station on Thursday morning ahead of their seven-hour trip west.

More than 26,000 Elvis and Priscilla Presley fans are expected to descend on the town, tripling its population for the five-day festival.

Two trains - dubbed the Blue Suede Express and Elvis Express - left at 9.30am amid much fanfare, including live performances and dancers.

Luke Barden isn't surprised Elvis is still as popular as ever more than 40 years after he died, "because there is only one king".

"There will always only ever be one Elvis. No one will come close to Elvis," his uncle said.

The celebration features concerts, a street parade and The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest to decide who represents Australia in a global competition in Memphis, USA, later in 2019.

The 1957 hit All Shook Up and the 1950s decade will be the focus of this year's event.

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