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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Ashford gets new king of wok and roll as Chinese Elvis impersonator Tang Ma turns The Oranges into Memphis Bar and Diner

27 February 2014
by Suz Elvey

An Ashford music venue has been All Shook Up since being taken over by a Chinese Elvis impersonator.

The veteran Hong Kong performer - known by his professional name Tang Ma - is turning The Oranges into Memphis Bar and Diner, named after the home city of Elvis Presley.

The restaurant, in Apsley Street, will serve Chinese food made by his chef wife Shirley and two cooks. Every night, Mr Ma will perform songs made famous by his musical hero.

Tang Ma outside his new Memphis Bar and Diner, formerly The Oranges, in Ashford

Tang Ma outside his new Memphis Bar and Diner, formerly The Oranges, in Ashford

The 52-year-old said: "Memphis Bar is in memory of The King.

"I don't believe Elvis is dead because when I hear his music it is like he is all around me. His music is Always On My Mind.

"I liked Elvis very, very much since I was a little boy in Hong Kong. I adore him and respect him and I love all his music.

"I have never had any singing or dancing lessons, I just automatically knew how to do it. I should be performing every night because I enjoy myself."

Scroll down for videos of Chinese Elvis in action

Elvis fanatic Tang Ma has erected a Graceland sign outside his bar

Elvis fanatic Tang Ma has erected a Graceland sign outside his bar

The walls of Tang Ma's restaurant are adorned with Elvis memorabilia

The walls of Tang Ma's restaurant are adorned with Elvis memorabilia

Tang's wife Shirley Ma hangs pictures of Elvis inside their Ashford bar

Tang's wife Shirley Ma hangs pictures of Elvis inside their Ashford bar

For those who still have Suspicious Minds about whether or not an Elvis-themed bar is right for Ashford, Mr Ma said: "I believe there are lots of Elvis fans in Ashford that will come.

"All ages like Elvis - if you do his songs, people will like it. It is not only rock and roll, his love songs are beautiful. Elvis never dies."

Mr Ma has performed as Elvis since he was a child in Asia, including at restaurants owned by his family members in London and Tunbridge Wells.

But he said his new show offers audiences something different.

Mr Ma added: "People all over the world recognise that Chinese Elvis is the best."

The Oranges, which was renowned throughout Kent as a live music venue, was owned by Shepherd Neame but it sold the building last month.

Elvis in action on stage. Picture AP

Elvis in action on stage. Picture: AP

The bar and diner is due to open Any Day Now. Mr Ma is planning a grand opening from 7pm on Tuesday, March 18.

To book a table, phone 01233 637950.


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