Music review: Tom Jones at Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

Tom Jones cut the figure of a majestic Greek God from inside a packed Kelvingrove amphitheatre on Saturday evening. Bathed in green light, the moon hanging poetically above the Bandstand, this was the 77-year-old at his most soulful: lamenting the misfortune of a condemned man dreaming of returning to his childhood home, as if reliving the experience himself on Green Green Grass Of Home, halfway into the set.

Tom Jones
Tom Jones

Tom Jones ****

Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow

There was no hairy chest on show, no medallions, and no visible sweat to speak of, either. Even the traditional knicker-throwers were in short supply, one or two tossing their pre-packed undies onto the stage as if laying roses at the feet of a winning gladiator. Jones’s pipes are in fine fettle, however, and just like last year at the same venue, they ran the gamut of over six decades of blues, r’n’b and rock-and-roll.

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From the southern-fried sounds of Burning Hell, to a gospel-laden Run On, from the Jazz-lounge swing of Sex Bomb, to a brass-heavy rendition of You Can Leave Your Hat On - no genre is left unturned.

He talked about Elvis (as you’d expect), extolled the virtues of his sadly-departed wife (married 59 years), and brought out his protégés from The Voice (Into The Ark) for an uplifting version of Sitting At The Dock Of The Bay.

Later, It’s Not Unusual received the Bossa Nova treatment, with What’s New Pussycat taking on an accordion-led approach. But that was before a hi-funk run-through of Kiss got everyone’s collective freak on during the encore.

Then, 15 minutes before scheduled to finish, that was it: “God willing, we’ll do it all again next year,” said Sir Tom, waving goodbye.