ROY Orbison impersonator Barry Steele is set to return to Southend touring his successful West End show The Roy Orbison Story.

Fans are told to get ready for an "upbeat night of solid gold hits and contemporary genius" as Barry Steele and a cast of musicians and singers, celebrate the late 80s when The Big O was on the cusp of a phenomenal return to super stardom.

Barry is joined on stage a five-piece band and sensational guest pianist Boogie Williams. As well as the hits, the show says it will be presenting original material written but never sung by Roy Orbison.

The production also features chart busting hits originally performed by Roy Orbison’s friends and culminates in a stunningly brilliant accolade as the whole cast comes together to pay homage to the original super group The Traveling Wilburys.

Barry Steele has been stunning audiences with his uncanny ability to recreate the vocal talents of the legendary Roy Orbison, winning rave reviews across the globe.

* Barry Steele and Friends - The Roy Orbison Story comes to the Palace Theatre, London Road, Westcliff, on Thursday December 19 at 7:30pm.

Tickets are £28.50, £27.50, £22.50 available from

Q What is it about Roy Orbison’s music that you love so much?

A Orbison’s songs not only have wonderful melodies and tunes, the lyrics are some of the most sublime ever written. Not only does the music take you back in time, the songs can make you happy, sad and emotive all at the same time. Orbison is known as a balladeer, but he also recorded and performed rocky and contemporary songs. His songs are quite simply timeless.

Q When did you first discover your singing abilities and their likeness to Roy Orbison’s?

A It was on a family holiday in Cornwall in 2001 that I took the first steps on the road to becoming a professional singer, when my wife Lynne and daughter Leonie entered me into a singing competition without my knowledge. It was there that a fellow competitor said to me, 'You know you sound just like Roy Orbison singing Robbie Williams!' so with the help of family and friends a tribute to The Big ‘O’ was born.

Q Your favourite Roy Orbison song?

A California Blue and Leah

Q What can the audience expect from The Roy Orbison Story?

A I am backed in this all live multi-media show, with not only a fabulous band and musicians, but a big screen featuring both live streaming, and images from the life and times of Roy Orbison, interspersed with factoids and information about the life and times of what is considered to be one of the best singers the world has ever known.

Q. What was your Plan B, in terms of a career?

A My career in music started quite late in life, so I guess you could say Plan B arrived before Plan A. Before my musical career took off, I was a qualified HGV and tanker driver, I was also in the RAF. I have refuelled Vulcans and The Red Arrows, and also worked for many years for ASDA as one of their Drivers.

Q Which musicians, apart from Roy Orbison, alive or dead, inspire you?

A. To be honest the person that has inspired me the most was my uncle and namesake, another Barry Steele, who was on the circuit in the 60s and 70s. He had and still has the most amazing voice, on par with Harry Seycombe!

Q Your house is on fire, what one item do you save?

A After the wife, it would be my guitars!

Q Theme song for your life?

A – too many to mention.

Q Last meal on earth?

A Spag Bol!

Q Dream dinner party guests?

A Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Toyah.

Q First thing you’d do if you won £1million?

A I don’t think a million would be enough, as I would love to own my own theatre. I would also love to buy an articulated lorry, as I do miss driving them.

Q If you could rule for a day, what would be the first thing you would do?

A Stop prescription payments.

Q Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?

A I love indoor bowls.

Q Favourite holiday destination?

A Wales

Q What was the last book you read?

A Harry Potter

Q Describe yourself as if you were a fine wine?

A Fresh and fruity

Q What was the first album you ever bought?

A Wings – Band on the run

Q If you could go back to any point in history, what would it be?

A I would like to go back to the 80’s – the music was phenomenal then.

Q What is the best advice you have ever received, and who did it come from?

A From my uncle Laurie, who told me to persevere with my basic training for the RAF, as I was ready to quit many times. He told me to stick it out.

Q What are you proudest of?

A Our west end debut last year and doing what we do. I am so proud of our show; it has been a family achievement. We were told by so many promoters it would not work. So my wife said, We don’t need them, we will do it ourselves, and everything you see has been achieved by our family. Not a single promoter has had any input at all.

Q Who do you admire most?

A –Roy Orbison and our family.

Q And who do you detest?

A Artistes who have egos, and promoters and shows that stoop to anything to make a quick buck.

Q If you could turn back the clock what one thing would you change?

A To start earlier, but I am not sure I would have been ready.

Q Who would you like to thank?

A My wife for pushing me and creating the show, my parents for my voice, and our family for their support.

Q What advice would you give to your younger self?

A You only get out of life what you put in. Don’t expect it to come to you.