The Tom Jones concert at Starlite, Marbella, on Monday was historic in many ways. Not only because of the traffic jams, which are an unusual sight in Marbella on a Monday evening, but also because of the legend who was about to appear on stage.
Despite the pandemic, the 81-year-old known as the Welsh Tiger filled the Marbella auditorium on this hot but unforgettable night.
Sir Thomas John Woodward came on stage smiling and impeccably well dressed and opened up the proceedings with What's New Pussycat? He then hit the ground running with an updated version of It's Not Unusual.
Jones was accompanied by five extremely versatile musicians who started with acoustic sounds before moving seamlessly into rock.
During the concert, which lasted over an hour and a half, Jones did not disappoint his audience, playing all the classic hits fans would expect of him and tracks from his latest and forty-fifth album, Surrounded by Time.
"This concert will be dedicated to Surrounded by Time, my latest album, and I want to thank those who bought it for making it number one. It's been many years since I topped the albums chart but you have to know that I'm the oldest person to reach it," he said, to cheering from the audience.
Jones commented on how hot it was and how happy he was to be there. He talked about Cat Stevens before singing a perfect version of The Windmills of Your Mind.
An awkward "Gracias, señores y señoritas" preceded Sex Bomb, which started slowly but picked up pace. Although the audience had to remain seated, we somehow found a way to gyrate our hips, as if we were doing exercises for them that we'd learned during the pandemic. The hips in my row at least remained intact and happy.
There was also a version of Bob Dylan's One More Cup of Coffee, another, excellent version of Prince's Kiss and, if that wasn't enough, he sang my favourite Leonard Cohen song; The Tower of Song. On Monday Tom Jones sung in a way few people like him can.
Songs older than the audience
"I won't crumble," he sings on one track. "I'm growing old,"in another. Delilah, released in 1968, is older than most people in the audience. In fact, it may well be the case that at 81, Tom Jones was the oldest person in the whole room, with a few possible exceptions.
Forgive me for referring to Tom Jones's age so much, but I assure you that his energy, voice and everything else are truly admirable.
Randy Newman's You Can Leave Your Hat On was turned into the world's most famous striptease song by Joe Cocker, epitomised in the film The Full Monty, and at Starlite it was beautifully performed by Tom.
Jones's encore included No Hole in My Head and Strange Things Happening Every Day. And then it was all over. Tom Jones is very good. He needs to be preserved in ice.