Tom Jones in Manukau

3359322The veteran Welsh singer rocked the Villa Maria Estate Winery last night to a loud, appreciative audience. After a slight technical hitch initially, where the usually vocally-strong rocker and his backup singers seemed to be a bit drowned out by the musical accompaniment, Jones went on to literally burn down the house.

Starting with some of his perhaps less-known songs, the vocals soon won out over the accompaniment with the first of his signature numbers, Delilah, got punters on their feet swaying.

As he sang the last few words of the song, "Forgive me Delilah I just couldn't take anymore," Jones held the microphone out to the audience for it to do its version of those words.

Another crowd warmer was the rousing Mama Told Me Not To Come.

A young couple sitting in the second row were asked what they were doing at the concert, being so young.

The answer: "Because it's Tom Jones, you know." The girl said she had grown up with the music.

Other rocking numbers including Mama I'm So Hard To Handle, Help Yourself, She's a Lady, Sex Bomb, Kiss and lastly Take Me Back To The Party, accompanied by pelvic thrusts, which were also acted out by the backing group, brought wild whoops and whistles from the audience.

Before singing Never Going To Give You Up, Jones dedicated the song to "the effect music has had on my life".

He said: "I tried to write a song about thanking God for giving me this voice."

Jones whipped up the crowd even more, getting punters to participate by shouting the question: "Oh yeah?" "Oh yeah?" "Oh yeah?" while flashing his eyes at them and swooning his female fans with: "Oh ladies, please!"

One young concert-goer, 22-year-old Ashleigh Marshall from Pukekohe, said she had seen the veteran pop star ten years ago at the North Harbour Events Centre in Albany and again in Las Vegas in 2008.

At least twice, Jones thanked the audience in his original Welsh tongue, saying "diolch yn fawr (thank you very much)".

He was encored hard at the end, after his large back-up group also left the stage shortly after him.

Jones returned to sock it to the audience twice more with the incomparable hit Kiss and Take Me Back To The Party.

With his 70th birthday looming in June, the singer has "still got it", both musically and personally, according to his wide age ranging fan base.