Tom Jones and Brian Kennedy
Belsonic - Custom House Square
24th August 2012
Tom Jones’ 46-year career has remarkably gone from strength to strength. Along with sustaining his popularity as a live performer and recording artist for more than four decades, he has garnered—at the age of 71—the best reviews of his career for his recent album, Praise & Blame (Island/Universal). Critics across the world are unanimous in their approval and admiration for both the recorded work and the performance of it in concert.
The Praise & Blame mantra was ‘get back to basics’, and the album was recorded as wholly live performances at Peter Gabriel’s studio in Bath, England, produced by Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling, Paolo Nutini). The result witnesses a singer at the top of his game, with the songs themselves coaxing exhilarating performances out of Tom and his band at festivals and venues in the UK and Europe.
Backed by a red-hot band riding on slinky, rocking blues grooves, Jones’ singing shifts from an ominous bass growl to a raw, pleading tenor…smiling, joking and wielding his remarkable voice with a lusty, tangible pleasure.” Neil McCormick, The Telegraph“
Thomas Jones Woodward was born in Pontypridd, South Wales, Great Britain on June 7, 1940 to a father who worked the coal mines of the Rhondda Valley. After quitting school at 15, working a variety of manual jobs, singing in the clubs at night and marrying at 17, Jones went on to sign with Decca Records in London.
Jones has a fundamental interest in a wide range of music. Although he is well known for hits including It’s Not Unusual, Kiss, Delilah, What’s New Pussycat, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again and If I Only Knew, he is first and foremost a rocker with a true rhythm and blues soul. He has remained a vital recording artist, with his 1999 album Reload the biggest selling (5m) of his then 35-year career. Tom was a key player in Martin Scorsese’s Red White & Blues series, and in 2004 released an album of roots rock n roll with Jools Holland. Prior to 2010‘s Praise & Blame, his 2008 studio album, 24 Hours, was a critical career highlight with many of the self-penned tracks being an insightful and evocative reflection of his spirited and rich life. “24 Hours finds Jones vocalizing with an almost reckless exuberance” The Washington Post
Tom was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006, an honour he deeply cherishes. Other highlights of his long career include receiving a BRIT Awards for Best Male and Outstanding Contribution to Music, a Silver Clef Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Hitmaker Award from the [US] Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2010 the prestigious [UK] Music Industry Trust Award. He has been animated as himself in The Simpsons, Duck Dodgers, The Emperors New Groove; other film roles include Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! and Angelica Houston’s Agnes Brown.
Sir Tom is indeed a living legend. His irresistible show traverses musical eras and genres, cuts across class divides and appeals to young and old, male and female, mainstream and cutting edge. The Godfather of modern soul, Sir Tom has always been about the power of the song, the power of the voice.
Tom Jones plays Belsonic at Custom House Square in Belfast on Friday August 24th.
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