The ping of knicker elastic sends an undergarment sailing majestically towards the stage.
Yes, Tom Jones is in town.
Sir Tom performed at the County Ground in Northampton on Wednesday, July 9, making it look like it’s easy for a man of 74 to entertain a crowd for the best part of an hour and three quarters, not merely singing but belting out song after song.
Still strong, still with a twinkle in his eye. How does he do it? The answer I suspect is sheer experience. Decades of it. He may not gyrate around like he did in his younger days, but, man, he’s got some energy.
I went along hoping to hear some familiar old tunes and have a bit of a singalong but I have to say I enjoyed many songs that I didn’t know, such as Leonard Cohen’s Tower Of Song and Tom Waites’ Bad As Me. He’s got a powerful voice of course, but what I enjoyed about his choice of songs and the way he sang them, is that he clearly loves to tell a story.
Sir Tom is certainly a showbiz survivor seemingly riding a rollercoaster of popularity and somehow finding a way to reach a new audience every few years, most recently as a judge and mentor on the TV talent show The Voice.
And there was a nod back to his long and varied career in the clips that flashed up on the screen behind him throughout the show.
He sang some songs from his new album but he provided the familiar hits too. You Can Leave Your Hat On, Green Green Grass of Home, Kiss. I enjoyed the fact that some of the arrangements were different, Delilah done as flamenco and with the addition of an accordion (I love an accordion) and Sex Bomb in a swing style. Changing things around a bit is probably an absolute necessity when you’ve sung certain songs hundreds of times.
Rounding off the show finally everyone seemed to be out of their seats. There may have been a few creaky joints in the crowd, but when Sir Tom says “I think you better dance now” you do as you’re told.