Sex bomb Tom's still got it at 82

Tomes Jones performing in Scarborough last night. Picture: Dave Lawrence
Tomes Jones performing in Scarborough last night. Picture: Dave Lawrence

The term legendary is so frequently used that it often loses its value but in the case of Sir Tom Jones it barely begins to do him justice.

Last night, Jones returned to Scarborough on his Surrounded by Time tour.

Last year, the album of the same name led to him becoming the oldest British artist to have a number one album of original material.

The 82-year-old’s opening number was Bobby Coles’ I’m Growing Old. It was stunning in its poignancy and simple delivery - just him with piano accompaniment.

As a tribute to his late wife Linda, Jones has changed the lyric and there can’t have been many who did not feel a lump in their throat when the line “I seldom dream about my wife” was changed to “I often dream about my wife”.

Jones excels in interpreting songs from unlikely sources. His take on numbers such as Cat Stevens’ Popstar and Leonard Cohen’s Tower of Song were spellbinding and Bob Dylan’s One More Cup of Coffee was beautifully handled.

Of course, he played his famous hits too, often with twists.

York Press:
York Press:

What’s New Pussycat? and It’s Not Unusual both featured accordion. Loud riffing guitar alongside the accordion provided a definite Americana vibe to Delilah.

Later in the set after a moving The Green, Green Grass of Home he told us how much he still loves performing the song.

Jones’ easy demeanour with the audience was also a joy whether he was explaining why he was sitting on a stool (a dodgy hip) or how Cat Stevens took his name (from What’s New Pussycat?).

It felt as though he was confiding in you down at your local pub, and as the last notes of Sex Bomb faded, a sizeable pair of white knickers were hurled on stage, eliciting a wicked laugh from the singer.

As dusk fell the stage lighting and screen took full effect during Kiss and You Can Leave Your Hat On, turning them into riots of colour and Jones even found time to burst into a little of Scarborough Fair at the end of the Prince classic.

The famous voice remains as velvety, rich and powerful as it ever was, which is genuinely astonishin. When combined with a hungry desire to still seek out and put his own stamp on songs he loves it’s easy to see why he remains as popular and cherished as he is.