Live Review: Tom Jones

26 March 2016 | 10:31 am | Bryget Chrisfield

"Jones still has a cheeky glint in those sparkling blue eyes."

Techs are still sound checking as we take our seats. House lights dim at 8.17pm and the crowd roars. Three musicians strike up and then Tom Jones enters in a navy ensemble, opening with Burning Hell.

He tells us that when he was in Vegas in the '70s Elvis was also there and he learnt a few gospel songs from The King; another guitarist appears before Jones delivers an example of one of these, Run On. Then two keyboardists join the players already assembled onstage for Didn't It Rain and rain graphics glisten on the giant screen backdrop. Now enter a three-piece brass section for Sex Bomb. This brass trio's synchronised moves and facial expressions are priceless throughout the night, particularly during Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow. There's a tuba solo in Raise A Ruckus for those who can't identify the instrument in the mix and the crowd claps along enthusiastically during this number. Delilah, after which the audience holler their appreciation, is jazzed-up and given an almost mariachi twist. There's some saucy ladies dancing in the periphery of the dress circle. 

A cover of Gillian Welch's Elvis Presley Blues showcases the power in Jones's voice to perfection. After this song, Jones tells us he's played it for Priscilla Presley, adding she praised his "haunting tribute" to her late father. We cheer in recognition as Jones sings, "I was born with the gift of a golden voice," in Leonard Cohen's Tower Of Song before Green, Green Grass Of Home transports us to lush Welsh landscapes. Jones still has a cheeky glint in those sparkling blue eyes, as demonstrated while he busting moves during It's Not Unusual. He actually removes his jacket while singing, "Baby take off your coat," at the beginning of You Can Leave Your Hat On. And a pair of knickers are placed on the stage. So it does still happen! Jones regularly enquires, "Oh, yeah?" We always wholeheartedly agree, "OH, YEAH!" He leaves the stage, letting his fabulous band play out. 

The encore comprises Jones' Bond song ThunderballKiss and Strange Things. What!? No What's New Pussycat? Jones possesses a voice that everyone should hear live. 

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