Photos: Tom Jones - Sydney Entertainment Centre 3 March 2010
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Review: TOM JONES at WIN Wollongong 4 March 2010

He’s had a successful music career since the 1960s and a sexual charisma that has compelled many a female, through the decades, to part with her undergarments. Turning 70 in June this year, what could we expect from Sir Tom Jones who was visiting the country promoting his CD “24 Hours”? Did he still have the moves? Would his voice still have the power it once possessed?

The venue was at capacity and sitting around us was a mix of silver haired grans, who looked to be around the singer’s age, middle aged mums and dads and some couples who looked to be in their 30s.
You could feel the excitement build as the band commenced with the instrumental intro which then lead into “Sugar Daddy”, one of the new tracks from Jones’ “24 Hours” CD which was written by U2’s Bono & The Edge.

Looking very distinguished with his silver hair and now bearded face (which reminded me of Kenny Rogers), Jones appeared fit and ready for action. That distinct, masculine, baritone voice obviously stirred something in the mild looking grannies as he was barely on stage for a minute before missiles, in the form of underwear, made their trajectory towards the stage.

We couldn’t help but be amused by the amount of lingerie being launched at Jones. We’d not seen anything like it before. There were bras and knickers in all forms and sizes landing around the man. By the end of the night, I’m sure there would’ve been enough to open a lingerie store!

As Jones performed “Give a Little Love” and “Thunderball”, other women rushed to the stage to get photos of their idol. Whilst many musicians tend to ignore the cameras, Jones had no problems posing for and acknowledging them all. Others got up to dance but were quickly told to sit down or move away from the front so as not to obstruct anyone’s view.

“Delilah” drew loud cheers and applause as the audience swayed and sang along. Another woman approached the stage with a bra and it seemed she wanted a personal invitation from Jones to accept her offering. She followed him along the stage, making several attempts to throw the garment but then changing her mind. Just as the song was about to finish, she finally threw it and the crowd cheered with relief. It looked like she was going to take all night.

Whilst the flying objects added some humour, they didn’t distract from the fact that Jones is still one hell of a performer. During the night, I would shut my eyes, just so my ears could focus on the voice that is best described as perfection.

Jones has a diverse repertoire and his music spans several genres from pop, rock, country, latin and more. There was something to pique everyone’s interest. At one point, the only thing missing from the party atmosphere, was a giant conga line.

A very moving moment was when the lights dimmed and Jones performed the title song from his new CD, “24 Hours”. The crowd was silent and appeared mesmerised by the power of his voice, the lyrics and the emotion of the performance.

A highlight for me was the acoustic section where he played “He’ll Have to Go”, “Green Green Grass of Home” and “Save the Last Dance for Me”. By this stage, Jones had the crowd eating out of his hands.

The pace picked up with “What’s New Pussycat”. As he removed his jacket, the singer genuinely appeared to be enjoying himself as he proceeded to dance and gyrate around the stage. With a cheeky smile and a definite spark in his eyes, one could see why so many women were still drawn to him.

Other familiar hits like “She’s a Lady”, “Leave Your Hat On”, “If I Only Knew”, “It’s Not Unusual” and “Sex Bomb” meant it was very difficult to sit still and not enjoy yourself. The crowd couldn’t contain themselves anymore and ran to the front to have a dance.

During “Stoned in Love”, Jones’ band were given an opportunity to showcase their fine musicianship. There appeared to be a mutual respect on stage between them and the singer, as they played every bit as hard as Jones sang.

The night drew to it’s inevitable close with an encore of “Kiss” and “Take Me Back to the Party”. As Jones thanked the audience before walking off stage, the crowd kept yelling for more but, unfortunately, the party was over.

As we made our way out of the venue, we marvelled at how someone, at almost 70, could still perform with such zest. We agreed that Sir Tom Jones had one of the best voices we had ever heard. It was strong, soulful, superlative perfection. We would definitely attend another show, should he visit our shores again. Let’s hope so.

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