Even if you aren’t a diehard fan, there is no doubting you would be familiar with Sir Thomas Jones Woodward OBE. Better known as Tom Jones. Rising rapidly to fame in the mid 60’s and some 50 years later he is still growing his fan base that clearly has no age limit.
Adelaide had the pleasure of Tom’s company last night and amid a sea of Welsh flags there was a diverse range of ages of punters in the audience it truly shows that age is but a number.
Sir Tom choosing to go this show alone, no support act to whet the crowds appetite, and to be honest while it’s always nice to have another group along – perhaps a new group to discover, or another artist you are familiar with to build the excitement – with an artist of this calibre he more than truly had the audience hanging in anticipation.
Before long the lights went dark a mysterious red glow across the stage, a guitarist perched either side of a sole microphone stand front and centre and a subtle display of numerous brass instruments and guitars, peaking my interest and what was in store for us during this show. Slowly but surely he emerged stage right to rapturous applause. A nod of the head, a small bow and he began. Opening the show with newer tracks Burning Hell and his cover of Run On the crowd was instantly on his side, singing along with him.
A great variety of tracks – 24 in total – many of which were reworked and given new life, including a toned down swing style Sex Bomb which the fans appeared to love and had Tom swinging his hips to the beat. Later on a reworked Delilah seemed to take the fans by surprise the new rhythm and slower guitar intro not getting a reaction until he sang the opening line. It wasn’t long before they were singing along in delight though, belting out the chorus in unison.
The brass section and keyboardists joining in on stage were a welcome addition not only musically but watching them perform was also a treat. From their fancy footwork, dance moves galore and encouraging the crowd to get involved. Frank, Henry and Trevor are a fabulous show in themselves. You could tell they were enjoying themselves and Tom clearly enjoyed having them there, wandering over to them to share a dance and watching as they each performed various solo moments.
The same with the rest of the band on keys, guitars and drums each time one of them was taking on a solo, Tom watched on in delight often playing air guitar or air keys along with them.
The middle of the set saw a change to a slower pace as he took on ballads that were hauntingly beautiful, from a dedication to Elvis in which Tom explained playing the track to Priscilla Presley and receiving her approval “it’s good enough for me” he said. Followed by a stunning rendition of Tower of Song. If there’s one thing that can be said about his ageing, is that he’s done it well. This song in particular the lyrics ring true to his story and his crystal clear vocal simply backed up that this remarkable man was indeed born to sing.
One thing that didn’t go unnoticed was his humour. Tom likes to tell a story as he progresses and include not only a few anecdotes along the way but a dirty joke or two as well. Raising his glass with a tradition Welsh cheers of “Lechyd da” Explaining to those who aren’t Welsh that it means “Good Health”, he also explained to the crowd that many people used to think it meant “Up your kilt” – “But we don’t wear kilts in Wales they only wear kilts in Scotland”, “And do you know why they wear kilts in Scotland?” he asked with a devilish grin before laughing to himself and sharing “Because the sheep can hear a zipper a mile away”.
Towards the end of the night more well known tracks came to light finally bring the crowd to their feet. Reworked Latin inspired It’s Not Unusual a highlight of the night with Tom busting a move similar to a solo Samba and the crowd on their feet, it was clearly party time followed by Mama Told Me Not To Come and You Can Leave Your Hat On. I was expecting it much earlier but it was during this track that the first pair of hot pink knickers were launched on stage, landing at his feet, he either didn’t seem them or he did a great job at pretending he didn’t. Thankfully it didn’t start a trend with only a few others pairs being thrown and falling short of the stage.
I Wish You Would rounded out the set with an all in party many up out of their chairs dancing two women in particular who came from opposites ends of the room and by the end of it were dancing arm in arm, again the brass section encouraging the dancing and clapping making sure everyone was feeling good. It was a nod of the head, a small bow and blown kiss and Sir Tom had left the stage leaving the band to finish the set.
A couple of minutes later after loud chants of “We want Tom” The band returned, shortly thereafter followed by Tom. An incredible encore that included Thunderball, Kiss and Strange Things Happen. Tom took a moment to introduce the band members and a thank you to the crew members before they took a group bow and left the stage.
During the show he announced that he is now 75. A remarkable effort to still not only be touring, but performing so well.
His voice – flawless, his charm – never ending, his humour – endearing and the overall performance was outstanding. From beginning to end the crowd were hooked, there is a clear reason Tom is still a superstar and it’s because he’s not just a singer he’s an entertainer. He is engaging and interactive from start to finish. This is a show that everyone needs to see. Truly fabulous!
Article by: Bronwen Caple
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