From the moment Tom Jones belted out the opening note to his first song last Friday night, James and I knew we were in the presence of a legend!
We’ve been fortunate enough to see many huge stars perform live over the years and I’ll be honest, I never really felt like I’d been missing out by not having Tom Jones on the list. However, when the opportunity came along to see him in concert in the beautiful grounds of Alnwick Castle, we figured we’d be mad to pass it up.
The concert was part of the Summer House Sounds line up I told you about recently, with Nile Rodgers, Madness and Il Divo also taking to the stage the same week.
The drive to Alnwick from Newcastle took us about an hour and there was a chilled atmosphere as we arrived at the outdoor venue on the Alnwick Pastures. The audience were an eclectic bunch with everyone from toddlers to pensioners basking in the evening sun. I knew it was a slightly more mature and sensible crowd than the ones I’m used to mixing with though as the queue for Rainbow Lattes was far longer than the queue at the beer tent!
Support came from Tom’s protégés ‘Into the Ark’, a Welsh duo that he’d taken under his wing since they were finalist’s on The Voice. I wasn’t really familiar with their songs but their soulful tones were lovely to listen to while we waited for the main man.
Sir Tom was in fine fettle, his set contained a great mix of new songs, familiar favourites and covers of classics. The band were outstanding too, I loved the brass section. I was surprised Tom Jones didn’t have backing singers but to be honest, he didn’t need them, his vocal range and bags of energy were more than enough to fill the whole concert ground with good vibes.
It really brought a smile to my face to watch everyone singing and dancing along to the hits. Some female fans even waved knickers in the air (standard)!
Between songs Tom regaled us with stories from his long and successful career. He told us about how he fell in love with music after hearing ‘Rock Around the Clock’ on the radio while working in a glove factory at the age of 15. He also spoke of the other love of his life, his wife of 59 years who sadly passed away in 2016. When he shared a story about singing gospel songs with Elvis backstage in Vegas I had to google his age and was shocked to discover he’s 78! Wow, I hope I’m still as fit and healthy as he is when I get to that age!
After an energetic and memorable set, Tom performed two covers as an encore. First up was a beautiful and moving rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’ followed by ‘Kiss’ in a tribute to Prince.
It was a night I’ll never forget, I think I might just be a Tom Jones fan after all!
*Thanks to Rhodes Media for arranging the tickets in return for an honest and personal review