Cardiff Castle review: July 29, 2001
TOM'S KING OF THE CASTLE
by Jan van Gulik
There he is; coming up in front of an wild-enthusiastic audience. Sixty-one years old, but still looking good. Too good, in my opinion. All women get crazy. All did their best to look good, trying to get a glimpse from Tom.
Photo by Jan van Gulik
Tom, as usually, wears a black suit. Or is it dark grey? A white shirt with high collar under it. His skin is brown tanned. He's in a great physical condition, as far as I can see. He sets in the first lines of 'Ain't That A Lot Of Love'. Yes the show's just begun.
Yesterday my friend and I arrived in Cardiff and, of course, we first wanted to see the Castle. Just to taste some of the atmosphere. People were hanging around the Castle. People with their arms and face painted with the text: Sex - Tom -Bomb, or something like that. People with Welsh flags, people with plastic daffodils, people with their kids, grandmothers with their grand-children. So then we got the feeling we really were going to see Tom Jones performing in his hometown. The sun stood high in the sky. Tropical temperature, which isn't usual for Wales. Back in the hotel we were lucky enough to meet Christi Black, the beautiful backing vocal with whom Tom does the duett 'Burning Down The House'. A hello in the elevator was enough for us. She wondered how two guys from the continental knew who she was. She had to be on the seventh floor of the hotel. So, the band was in the hotel. But where was Tom? We may got lucky to see him.....
Back on the streets of Cardiff we bought us some local newspapers only to get some Tom news about the Castle concert. By now the first concert was about to start, so we got back to the castle again. There we could look through the huge gates of the castle. Tom was performing there in front of a wild-enthusiastic audience. we didn't want to stay here long, because that would mess up our expectations for the Sunday concert. Detail was that we discovered some cameras on high standards outside the castle. That may mean they will film the concerts for a new video/DVD release. Let's hope we were right.
The setlist didn't change that much. 'Hard To Handle', 'Never Tear Us Apart', 'Without Love', all song with greatest conviction. 'She's A Lady' is back in the repertoire this time. Great response from the audience, of course. It seems like everybody is singing along with Tom. Tom really feels he's home here. And he is! The Welsh people never forgot Tom. He's been a long time away, but now he's back. And the people love it. Or better, they love him!
There is a woman with huge underwear in her hands. She shows it to Tom. "What the hell is that?" he asks. "A family of six can live in that." About 10.000 people laugh their hearts out. The converation with the woman goes on. Tom asks her where she comes from. Tom used to perform in that city, he says. "You look familiar to me." Oh oh! People hardly can breath anymore. Great atmosphere, great atmosphere!
Photo by Jan van Gulik
The intermission comes much too fast. After the intermission Tom does our favourite songs like 'Never Fall In Love Again' and 'Green, Green Grass Of Home.' After this song the people come forward. Close to the stage. Security guards can't help it anymore. It's okee now. Many flashbulbs in a dark open air. The scenery of the castle is beautiful now. One part of the castle is enlighted blue/green. This is a hell of an experience for us. And for 9975 other people. Welsh people, most of them. Two people from Belgium and Holland, in Cardiff, just to see Tom Jones. They hardly believe it. That makes a very proud nation even more proud. Tom Jones may be known as the King of Pop, but now he also proves he's King of the Castle.