Edinburgh Castle Sunday 20 July 2014
|View across the Forth to Fife from the Castle|
|Tom in full flow|
|Tom Jones masks?|
I'd never seen Tom live before, and fully expected the fairly standard greatest hits set performed in crowd-pleasing fashion, however, what he gave us on the night was much more than that.
From his entrance stage-right, he began with the John Lee Hooker blues classic Burning Hell. His band were glorious - obviously hand picked, and every song was delivered in a refreshing slightly unusual form.
We were treated to a relaxed lounge version of Mama Told Me Not to Come followed by a version of Sex Bomb which was full of jazz piano and brass.
It almost seems churlish to mention that he’s 74 years old, but relevant in the context of his voice. He still has the vocal range, and the confidence to mix it up, of someone 50 years younger.
Off-stage, although the crowd ranged in age terms from eight to 80 and was mostly balanced between men and women, the ladies were clearly in charge. Undies were inevitably thrown during Sex Bomb and again often throughout the show.
|Bridget Jones knickers?|
Musical diversity continued with the accordion and steel guitar driven version of Dylan's Tomorrow Night, a beautiful Spanish guitar rendition of Delilah ("There's lovely" said Tom as the guitar intro finished), and a slightly Eastern European folk feel to It's Not Unusual.
There was the rock/blues cover of Howling Wolf's Evil, a fabulous version of Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song ("I was born like this, I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice"), the slow tear jerking I'm Never Gonna Fall In Love Again and the country and western flavoured Raise a Ruckus Tonight.
Only Green, Green Grass of Home and You Can Leave Your Hat On were closer to the original and traditional Tom Jones delivery.
He finished a rather excellent 90-100 minute set with an encore - Kiss
|Still on top form|
The consummate professional, Tom seems to be able to combine careful precision but at the same time appear to be care-free and having a great time. Having now seen the Man once, I would recommend seeing him live - you might be surprised. Great gig!
------ Support ------
The support was James Walsh who is probably best known as the front-man of UK rock quartet Starsailor.