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- Tom Jones »
He sweats for Wales. He sweats for the world. He stands enormous. His skin pulsates with rivers of perspiration. Hell, I can smell him from here. He wears leather trousers. A shirt so smooth nothing – not even sweat – sticks to it. He even wears a jacket, like some casual rock god whose dressing down, but not too much, for the office. His hair is enormous.
Remember this is the man who has vanquished alien hordes in the godlike "Mars Attacks!". We must respect his authority.
This is stadum rockola. Great big enormous bowls of seats and video screens, gently ushered in by orange bumblebees, laid out precisely across parks the length and breadth of the nation. And like stadium rock, he is flanked by his army of stadium rock soldiers. Cue the three black backing singers. The (not at all stereotypical) black bassist. The two slightly nerdy guitarists, a keyboardist, a drummer, a percussionist, and a full complement of horn sections, who don’t – at all, honest guv – synchronise their dancing.
And the voice! It surely has been bottled and used by the Army for weaponry. I can feel my insides quaking still when a voice like that is projected out from the speakers. My stomach feels like rotating jelly.
He prances the stage, he walks over, and emotes with great wobbling lips and great wobbling hips. He sings songs like "Flat Broke And Busted", and even – horror of horrors – that has me absolutely hysterical in laughter, lectures the audience in all seriousness about how there just isn’t enough love in the world, and love is the most beautiful thing behind his multitude of gold rings and frizzy hair. It sounds so so sincere I even think he might be doing a Mariah Carey and pretending to cry.
Of course, the whole thing is executed effortlessly. He plays songs off albums old and new, I can’t remember or care which, and dispatches the excerpts from his "Duets" (i.e. roped in trendies) albums that most artists fall prey to when sales dry up, in the strident, bombastic manner of the over-expressive actor.
And on the hits fall. Delilah, Mama Told Me Not To Come, Baby It’s Cold Outside, You’re Right I’m Left She’s Gone, It’s Not Unusual, The Green Grass Of Home, Kiss, are all wheeled out complete with big synth rolls, funk breaks, call and response sections and all that gubbins. They sound brilliant.
Utter meaningless brainless tosh of course. Which is fine it that’s what you want. I just kind of get the feeling that he could be reading out his shopping list and still making it sound sincere and like it’s the most important thing in the world.
Wave your flags, get your knickers out, sweat for Wales. That’s Entertainment.
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