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Legendary Tom Shows What it Takes

Legendary Tom Shows What it Takes

Who: Tom Jones
Where: Newcastle Entertainment Centre
When: Friday May 26, 2000

FORGET Viagra. The new aphrodisiac for the mature male is soul music, a black well-tailored suit, and the ability to shake your groovy thang without inhibition.

Take the tip from TOM JONES, the 59-year-old Welshman who dances like your father when he's tipsy, who had about 5000 punters screaming in the dark at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Sunday night.

'Watch out, you might get what you're after, cool baby, strange but not a stranger, I'm am ordinary guy, BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE!' And while the majority of the audience might never have heard the original version of that TALKING HEADS song, it didn't matter.

Jones had already ignited the stage with his presence and, like the songs which followed, he made them all his own.

'Ah it's great to be back again . . . . in Newcastle,' he said in a voice that sounded as though it had been soaked in treacle and whiskey.

'Yay!', the audience responded.

'Tonight you're going to hear some old songs, some news songs, some luuurve songs (an eyebrow cocked).


'And some neglected songs.'

With that he let rip with DELILAH, which brought back some vivid memories of AM radio in the 1970s and some illumination on the decade that subtlety apparently forgot.

The swaying in unison and chorus of my, my, myyyyy, De-lil-ah, had all the hallmarks of a free pensioners' concert. But the difference was we weren't at the Pelican Bowling Club listening to some pale imitator whining out his best Tom Jones.

This was the real McCoy!

And when Jones, a close personal friend of The King pulled one of those ELVIS PRESLEY Aloha From Hawaii Tai Chi moves, I could have sworn then and there I heard panty elastics snapping.

We even witnessed an over-50s equivalent of crowd surfing or moshing - a lady's purse flying through the air down in the front 10 rows - which made me wonder whether I'd be this enthusiastic over a YOU AM I concert when I'm in my 60s when TIM ROGERS is doing the RSL club rounds.

I hope so.

It's true. Tom Jones is from another era. But you know it when Jones belts out '(woah woah woah) SHE'S A LADY (AND THE LADY IS MINE)' and you pay attention to the lyrics.

'She can take what I dish out, but she knows me through and through, and how to please me', Jones purred while making a pelvic thrusting motion, as if pulling something invisible toward his crotch.

But you slap yourself out of your uptight 1990s political correctness and forget that sexism stuff. Jones' musical era is about wild uninhibited bonking, and when you get that you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Soul music, and MAMA I'M SURE HARD TO HANDLE was, after all 'a song we first tried back in 1969, and we're going to do it again now for you'.

The sex in the air was so thick you could cut it.

It was in the big brassy soul numbers that Jones shone, hotter than JAMES BROWN on a hot tin roof, laid on thick with one of the horniest-sounding horn sections around, and a backing band that belted out everything from thick swampy funk rock to brassy evergreens.

His three black female backing vocalists were amazing, all typically gorgeous and slinky.

It wasn't all about sex. It was also about fun.

The NRL footy theme song IF I ONLY KNEW (MAKE YOU MAKE YOU LOVE ME) went over a treat, as did his rendition of THE STEREOPHONICS cover MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME. Perhaps it was the zany circus clown's whistle, the faux piano accordion and the honking horns that had me in hysterics listening to WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT. Whatever it was it was entertaining. And sexy (again).

Jones oozed quantities of sex appeal that can still get you arrested on some streets in Queensland.

He gyrated, he ran his fingers up his thigh towards his groin, he thrusted, he wiggled his butt at us. He was even cheekier when he posed the Dorothy Dixer to the audience 'why a German producer (MOOSE T) would write a song like this for me I have no idea'.

'It's about sex!,' he said, rolling his eyes, and slapping his forehead with mock exasperation, launching into SEX BOMB. Then with a deft manoeuvre Tom whipped off his single breasted coat to reveal his body to screams.

By this stage people were plainly panting for Jones - and I swear there was at least one pair of panties being swung threateningly overhead on a finger tip, but I didn't see any thrown.

After IT'S NOT UNUSUAL and his big trademark HOMER SIMPSON come-hither growl (which Homer stole from Jones by the way) Tom took his final bow leaving the audience chanting for more.

His encore began with LENNY KRAVITZ rocker ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY with the finale THE ART OF NOISE collaboration on a PRINCE song KISS that was the defining moment.

Jones failure to take himself too seriously was thoroughly disarming. And while some of his tunes have aged, Jones proved that confidence and finesse are two qualities that will never go out of style.

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