Review: Tom Jones and Van Morrison' at the o2, 8th November 2015
Someone screwed up at the Prudential BluesFest. You'd think a twofer gig featuring Van Morrison and Tom Jones, musicians with hundreds of millions records sold between them over the last 50 years, would be an easy sell. Apparently not; whether it be a failure of marketing, pricing or simply that there wasn't as much audience overlap between the two as anticipated.
Whatever the reason, there was a gargantuan queue snaking its way around the o2 hungry for freely distributed comp tickets. I'd snaffled one up myself, figuring that while I'd never go out of my way to attend a Tom Jones or Van Morrison gig, it sure beats sitting at home doing nothing.
So that's how I found myself squeezed into the vertigo inducing fourth tier of the o2 Arena watching men with a combined age of 145 plough their way through two idiosyncratic setlists. The nosebleed seat I was given was as far away from the action as you're able to get: 'Row U, Seat 835'. From my lofty vantage point the stage was maybe a kilometre away - even the jumbotron video screens were difficult to make out.
This hangar-like performance space is generally best suited to theatrical pop spectacles with huge props, big costumes and thumping great basslines. Sadly, this meant that Van Morrison (who I saw and enjoyed at Glastonbury in 2005) was less than thrilling. Within the vast space his band sounded reedy and muted, with Van himself cutting an indistinct figure in the centre of it all. As he meandered his way through a setlist of samey sounding R&B muzak, attention began to wane.
I suspect I'd be more positive if I'd seen this exact gig in a more intimate setting. There you'd be able to see the band truly at work and piece together the jigsaw of each musical interaction, and properly watch how Morrison's style as band leader dictates pace and mood. All that was lost in the cavernous emptiness between performer and audience, resulting in a disappointingly impersonal and bland experience.
It was at about the halfway point that an early tube home started to seem attractive. By now, Tom Jones had even joined Morrison on stage for a couple of not-particularly-inspiring duets - if this was to be the peak of the night then....
But, curious to what Jones' act is like after more than fifty years in the business, I stuck around. I'm glad I did. Tom Jones has apparently reached the 'Johnny Cash' stage in his career: his age, rumbling voice and onstage making him an unlikely harbinger of old-school-Christian apocalyptic Judgement Day drama.
Opening with Burning Hell, followed swiftly by God's Gonna Cut You Down and 'Til My Back Ain't Got No Bone, the setlist swiftly transforms the hitherto harmless crooner into an ominous omen of doom. He's helped by a band firmly locked into down-at-heel doom rock, the chugging, hypnotic guitar riffs sounding like they're chiming in the four horsemen and a lighting design that covers the stage in sickly low-lit neon - a faux draped curtain backdrop making things look all Twin Peaks red-roomsy.
And this is Tom Jones! Lovely, huggable, reality TV crooner, national institute Sir Tom "Granny's bit of rough" Jones! He seems to take pleasure in playing against type, taking advantage of the opportunity to headline a highbrow Blues festival and largely skip over the expected hits. Granted, he reverts to his usual gregarious personality between songs, but his faintly aged but still powerfully sonorous voice fuels an intense set that even manages to  partially redeem Sex Bomb.
The highlight is a cover of Leonard Cohen's Tower of Song. Watching Jones perform you feel like you're participating in a chain of musical history. Leaving aside Jones' iconic songs, he's associated with the best and brightest - from Presley to Portishead. Tower of Song cements him in this company, feeling like it's been written for him to solemnly boom out lyrics like:
"I was born like this, I had no choice I was born with the gift of a golden voice And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond They tied me to this table right here in the Tower of Song"
It's a neat bit of self-mythologising, painting Jones as passenger to his prodigious vocal talents - managing to both humanise and deify him all at once. It's such a shivers up the spine moment that following it with It's Not Unusual comes across as a little cheap. I'm not going to deny that I didn't have fun watching him work through his signature tune, but switching gears into this crowdpleaser immediately dissipated all the atmosphere he'd painstakingly built throughout the set.  Oh well, the audience seemed happy.
This marks the end of his solo set, after which he's rejoined by Van Morrison for a couple more iffy duets. By this point they look like they're having fun, but it proves to be a rather anti-climactic end to the evening, with the audience steadily leaking out into the drizzly London night.
Van Morrison I can take or leave, but I don't think he's best suited to a venue of this size. Conversely, Tom Jones more than fills it, delivering a portentous musical performance that's refreshingly (and surprisingly) low on cheese. Top stuff, Tom.





In a career that has spanned six decades, Sir Tom Jones recorded an expansive body of work and performed with almost every major artist, from Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Sinatra, to Robbie Williams, Van Morrison and Ed Sheeran, and across every imaginable genre, from rock and pop to country, blues and soul. On the 8th of October Sir Tom will release his first ever full autobiography via Penguin Books entitled ‘Over the Top and Back’. In support of this highly anticipated release Sir Tom will undertake a very special four date run of the UK starting the 9th of October that will see him in conversation with music aficionado and BBC 6Music presenter Matt Everitt followed by an exclusive performance. Tickets are on-sale from 9am on Friday 11th September and are available from

Inspired by the release of his first ever biography ‘Over the Top and Back – The Autobiography’ lucky fans will be witness to Sir Tom and Matt Everitt revisiting his past, exploring the twists of fate that took a boy from wartime Pontypridd to global renown. He reveals the stories behind the hits as well as the ups and downs of his remarkable life and career, while charting the nature of success  – from his early heydays to the subsequent fallow years the 1980s to his later period of his artistic renaissance.

Accompanying this discussion will be a very special performance of songs of significance to Sir Tom, including a number of tracks from the accompanying sound track album to the book, entitled Long Lost Suitcase.  The opportunity to see Sir Tom delve further into what made him not only a music icon but a national treasure is not to be missed.


Fri 09 Oct-15              BIRMINGHAM SYMPHONY HALL



Wed 14 Oct-15           THE LOWRY, SALFORD QUAYS

Sir Tom Jones tickets are on-sale from 9am on Friday 11th September priced at £50.00, £40.00 & £35.00 (subject to per-ticket charge plus order processing fee) and are available from

Tom Jones - BBC The Voice UK

About The Voice UK: In good faith, as part of the team, I’d put the time in my schedule to be involved in Series 5, as I’ve done so for the last 4 years. I’ve supported the show and the BBC since the beginning. I was told yesterday, with no consultation or conversation of any kind, that I would not be returning. Having been through plenty of transformations throughout the years, I support and admire creative change. But being informed, as a matter of duty and respect, is an important part of creative relationships. This sub-standard behaviour from the executives is very disappointing. I will always admire the courage of the performers who participate in the show, as well as all the production staff who worked tirelessly to make a great family viewing experience for the audience at home.  I wish the show well.

Tom Jones Live at Alnwick Castle – Saturday 8th August

Tom Jones would like to sincerely apologise to all his fans for the abrupt ending to his concert at Alnwick Castle on Saturday evening. A loss of generator power supply at the beginning of the night meant a delayed start to the concert and unfortunately, after continuous problems during Tom’s performance, a further loss of power meant the concert ended abruptly.

Tom really enjoyed performing to the North East crowd and was extremely disappointed that the concert ended in this manner.

Tom looks forward to returning to the North East for a concert in the future.

Schlossfestspiele Regensburg - Cancellation

We are very sorry to announce that Tom Jones has had to cancel his performance at Thurn und Taxis Schlossfestspiele Regensburg, scheduled to take place on Thursday 23rd July. This is due to an ongoing upper respiratory infection. Tom would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to all his fans for the inconvenience and disappointment caused.

For refunds, please visit your point of purchase

Should you need any further assistance, please contact your ticket seller directly

Les Soirées de la Citadelle, Saint Tropez - Cancellation

We are very sorry to announce that following doctor’s advice, Tom Jones has had to cancel his performance at Les Soirées de la Citadelle, Saint Tropez tomorrow night (Tuesday 21st July) due to an upper respiratory infection.

Tom would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to all his fans for the inconvenience and disappointment caused.

Tom is expected to make a full recovery and we anticipate that the remaining tour dates will go ahead as planned.

For refunds, please visit your point of purchase.

Should you need any further assistance, please contact your ticket seller directly

Competition: Review Tom's Show

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If you have recently been to a show on Tom's current tour, or will be heading to an upcoming show, we’d love for you to send us a review of Tom and the band’s performance.


In the subject title please tell us which show you are writing about and then send your reviews to


The most interesting, insightful and detailed reviews will be published on and the writers shall receive a personalised autograph from Tom.


 Get writing, all you backroom scribes!


Tom Jones and Jessie J revive a classic


635591029055443039-XXX-J-JONES261 You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' never really goes away: The Righteous Brothers' Phil Spector-produced 1964 original remains a classic of longing and passion, a standard against which all subsequent pop duets must be measured. Tom Jones and Jessie J revived the song Sunday on the Grammys, and their studio version boasts lavish production inspired by, but not enslaved to, the original, with a sumptuous string arrangement acting as the record's third star. At 74, Jones brings a dramatic and direct earnestness to his performance that Jessie J matches at every step.

Article by Brian Mansfield, USA Today, 9 February 2015        Photo by Robert Hanashiro, USA Today

Tom participates in two major events in the US music calendar: MUSICARES Person Of The Year and The 57th GRAMMY AWARDS Show.


Jessie J & Tom Jones On February 6th, Bob Dylan will be honored as the 2015 MUSICARES Person of The Year. Hosted in Los Angeles, this special 25th Anniversary celebration will see performers paying tribute to Bob Dylan, who personally curated the billing. Performers will include: The Black Keys, Beck, Crosby, Stills & Nash, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Eddie Vedder, Jack White, Neil Young, Tom Jones and Los Lobos.

On February 8th, The 57th GRAMMY AWARDS show will take place at the Los Angeles Staples Centre, broadcasted live on CBS Television Network from 8-11:30PM (ET/PT).

With an exciting line up of acts taking to the stage throughout the night, it is set to be Music’s Biggest Night. Performers include duets by current noninees Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, nominees Hozier and Annie Lennox; nominee Jessie J and Grammy Winner Tom Jones; and Grammy winners Adam Levine and Gwen Stefani.  There will also be first time Grammy performances from AC/DC, Ariana Grande and Sam Smith, along with seven-time Grammy winning pop icon Madonna and singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.

In the UK, Fans will be able to view the GRAMMYS on February 8th at 23.35pm (GMT) on Channel 4, or February 9th at 21.00pm (GMT) on Channel 4’s 4Music.  Watch this space for an announcement about an upcoming TV broadcast of MUSICARES.


Singer Caitríona O'Leary Enlists Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens And Joe Henry To Bring A Centuries-Old Irish Christmas Tradition Back To Life On The Wexford Carols, Out Nov 4 Via Heresy Records

Singer Caitríona O'Leary Enlists Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens And Joe Henry To Bring A Centuries-Old Irish Christmas Tradition Back To Life On The Wexford Carols,  Out Nov 4 Via Heresy Records

The Wexford Carols, a collection of 17th and 18th century Irish Christmas songs, mostly lost to history until recently, have, the first time, been recorded together by celebrated Irish singer Caitríona O’Leary along with a cast of American and UK Grammy winners including Sir Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens and producer Joe Henry.

British Summer Time, Hyde Park **** Review - The Times

51-v1AbOBnL._SL500_AA300_Bringing the curtain down on ten days of British Summer Time shows in Hyde Park, Tom Jones stepped on to the Great Oak Stage and set it alight. Already bathed in evening sunlight, the backdrop was transformed into a flaming inferno as he began with a rocked-up version of John Lee Hooker’s Burning Hell. “When I die, where will I go?” Jones sang, his big, throaty voice accompanied to begin with by only two guitarists and a drummer. It sounded more White Stripes than What’s New Pussycat?. He returned to this gospel-blues theme later in the set with a propulsive version of Howlin’ Wolf’s Evil, a song that Jones recorded in 2012 with Jack White.

Under Milk Wood: Tom Jones plays Captain Cat and Katherine Jenkins is Polly Garter in new TV adaptation

Tom Jones as Captain Cat, Michael Sheen as First Voice, Katherine Jenkins as Polly Garter, Bryn Terfel as Reverend Eli Jenkins and Jonathan Pryce and Sian Phillips as Mr and Mrs Pugh – could there be a more exciting wish-list for Under Milk Wood?

Add Matthew Rhys, Charlotte Church, Aneurin Barnard, Eve Myles and Robert Pugh – as well as a host of others – into the mix, along with a dollop of modern-day technology, and you get a new star-studded, cutting-edge version of Dylan Thomas’ ‘play for voices’.

But this is no fantasy. These stars of the acting and music worlds have teamed up for an hour-long TV adaptation about the colourful characters from the fictional fishing town of Llareggub.

And executive producer Bethan Jones says they were only too keen to get on board and become part of BBC Cymru Wales’ centenary celebrations for the Swansea-born poet.

“We just thought, ‘ Who are the people we’d love to work with on this?’ and just went for it,” she says. “We were asking them as part of the Dylan Thomas centenary and they felt they wanted to be involved. Those who were not available were really disappointed.”

While some asked if they could perform certain roles – Sheen wanted to deliver the famous opening lines, for example – others were more than happy with the parts they were offered.

“We asked Tom Jones to do Captain Cat and we were really thrilled when he said yes, it was the icing on the cake. He’s fabulous and there’s a real humour. We also asked Bryn Terfel to do Eli Jenkins. The reverend delivers the beautiful Sunset Poem which I know Bryn has sung in the past so it was a no brainer to ask him to do it.”

Under Milk Wood was filmed in a wealth of locations, including Laugharne, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Cardiff, and the focus is on the words, with the cast delivering their lines up close to the cameras and directly to the audience. There are no sets, props or costumes.

“It’s almost like a no frills version which is really concentrating on the text,” says Ms Jones. “There’s a real sense of love and enjoyment in the words. There are some beautiful performances. The cameras are very close up to the actors so they are delivering the words straight to you. You’re hearing sections of text you almost didn’t know existed.”

Directed by Pip Broughton and also starring Ioan Gruffudd, Alexandra Roach and Iwan Rheon, the film is also a celebration of 21st century technology with some of the cast delivering their lines via Skype and others using their mobiles to film performances. It features Dylan’s favourite watering holes from both sides of the Atlantic, with Matthew Rhys delivering his words (as one of the narrators) at the White Horse Tavern in New York and Aimee-Ffion Edwards (another narrator) based at Brown’s in Laugharne.

As each of the iconic characters joins in, the piece builds up into a collage of famous voices and faces.

Under Milk Wood is the first collaboration between BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre Wales and woven into the dialogue will be evocative imagery created in Laugharne as part of NTW’s live performance, Raw Material: Llareggub Revisited, which will take place during the May Bank Holiday weekend. And audiences watching the live performances will get a preview of the film – which will be broadcast on May 5, just hours after the final NTW show – when snippets are screened.

While there have been countless performances of Under Milk Wood, Ms Jones hopes the new film will introduce it to a new generation thanks to the cast list and use of new technology – and entice those who may not think it’s for them.

“We’ve got a real cross section of performers– big stars like Tom Jones, Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys, Jonathan Pryce and Sian Phillips, and those who are young and at the start of their careers like Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Aneurin Barnard and Craig Roberts.” So would Dylan approve?

“I hope so – we’re using technology and a sense of the love of the words so I think it would appeal to him.”

By Karen Price for Wales Online

You can read this full article at Wales Online here

The Voice UK Season 3

The Voice UK Season 3 premiered on Saturday night on BBC One.

It was a great show and start of the series, introducing the two new Coaches, Kylie Minogue and Ricky Wilson. As well as the two new presenters, Emma Willlis and Marvin Humes.

Unfortunately the show is not shown out of the UK, but the BBC have uploaded all of the performances and clips to their youtube channel.

Our favourite moment from the show was when Sally Barker gave her moving rendition of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". You can watch the clip here.

Delilah Featured On American Hustle Soundtrack

"Delilah” is featured on the American Hustle Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.  Available now on iTunes  Film in theaters Dec 20th.

American Hustle is a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most extraordinary scandals of the 1970s, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who along with his equally cunning and seductive partner, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting.  Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Like David O. Russell’s previous films, American Hustle defies genre to tell a story of love, reinvention, and survival. The film is directed by David O. Russell, written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, and produced by Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, and Jonathan Gordon.

American Hustle – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

1.    Jeep’s Blues | Duke Ellington 2.    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road | Elton John 3.    White Rabbit | Mayssa Karaa 4.    10538 Overture | Electric Light Orchestra 5.    Live And Let Die | Wings 6.    How Can You Mend A Broken Heart | Bee Gees 7.    I Feel Love | Donna Summer 8.    Don’t Leave Me This Way | Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 9.    Delilah | Tom Jones 10.  I’ve Got Your Number | Jack Jones 11.  Long Black Road | Electric Light Orchestra 12.  A Horse With No Name | America 13.  Stream Of Stars | Jeff Lynne 14.  Live To Live  | Chris Stills 15.  Irving Montage | Danny Elfman