Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tom Jones – Emirates ICG Durham (Evening Chronicle)

Sir Tom jones is back in the public eye in a big way, after high profile appearances on BBC’s The Voice, as a mentor, and a performance at the Queen’s jubilee celebration. So right now is the perfect time for a new album and a European tour, which he has graciously supplied to his adoring fans. On Saturday night he owned the stage in the beautiful setting that is Durham County Cricket Club.

As if the clouds were watching the man himself too, the rain stopped as soon as the first track began. He started with, Hit Or Miss, a new song which started off the night on a great note, a bouncing brass band delivering the depth to a wall of sound surrounding the deep booming vocals. The list of hits on display was almost endless, with a set list which spanned his entire career. From the hit which started it all, It’s Not Unusual. Which bounced and reverberated throughout the unique setting, echoed back by every member of the crowd. To, Tower of Song, a track from his newest album, Spirit In The Room, which was a beautiful soaring number which ebbed and flowed with the distinct Tom Jones style.

Hits such as Sexbomb, Mama Told Me Not To Come, and You Can Leave Your Hat On took their place as cracking sing-alongs with Toms voice sounding record perfect as always. The full band on stage, including a brass section, gave them a different sort of feel, rather than feeling like the simple recordings. The live spicy Spanish guitars and jazz pianos in Delilah gave a subtle darkness to the uplifting song, as Tom’s vocals burned like hot coals throughout. Every voice young and old sang and laughed along, despite many of the people there not being born when the song was released.

Tom’s rapport with the crowd is one which can only be crafted over a career as long as his. He greets the crowd as old friends and reminisces the previous times he has been to the north east throughout his musical lifetime. Utterly at home on the stage, he owned every second. Sending the female fans loopy with every shake of his hips, and a chorus of screams was produced with every trademark growl.

The legend himself hasn’t lost an ounce of his magic. His vocals are perfect, and despite being one of the most recognizable people and voices in the musical world, has stayed truly humble. He really is testament to the idea that age is just a number, as his newest album is yet another quality addition to his impressive catalogue.


Keane – O2 Academy Newcastle (Evening Chronicle)

After a four year wait Keane are finally back with their new album, Strangeland. Bursting back onto the scene, they are marking the release with a UK wide tour, and the first night was a sellout gig at Newcastle’s O2 Academy.

They are a band which are paradoxically as simplistic as they are complex. The power of Tom Chaplin, the front man’s, voice actually surprising me at first. It was record perfect song by song as the entire show went on. From the hauntingly beautiful emotion filled, Bedshaped to the soul rousing anthem, This is The Last Time, you could see him pouring his entire self into every track. As a band, they are just four young guys who love making music and happen to have the talent to pull it off. They have a list of hits a band twice as old would be proud of.

The set list was a collection of their greatest songs to date such as Somewhere Only We Know and Is It Any Wonder? sitting alongside a selection of songs from the new album, and the transition between the two was seamless. The new songs stick to the same formula which Keane are famous for. The piano and sythesiser set the basis for the tracks, whilst the other elements are built up layer by layer, forming a complex wall of sound. The tracks on display from Strangeland showed a more melancholy sound, but the usual upbeat riffs and sing-along choruses meant they were appreciated by the eager crowd, which isn’t often the case. The Starting Line was my pick of the bunch, a slow meaningful buildup of exquisite lyrics and rhythmic synthesized pianos to a rousing chorus which soars just as well as their best hits.

Keane have taken their time creating Strangelands, and it really shows. Tom himself introduced every track as being his favourite from the new album, I can’t blame him, it’s certainly a great collection.