EVENTS

Tom Jones headlines at Live at Chelsea

It’s not usual (sorry!) for Sir Tom to help charity, but the venue is a little out of the ordinary

He’s played at some of the biggest concert venues in the world, but, in the middle of June, Sir Tom Jones will play in a courtyard.

It’s no ordinary courtyard though. This one is at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home to the Chelsea Pensioners in south-west London.

Jones will perform over the June 15-16 weekend as part of the Live at Chelsea festival. His shows will follow performances by Toto (Africa, Rosanna, Hold the Line) and the Gipsy Kings (Bamboleo) on the 13th and 14th respectively.

Part of the proceeds from the shows will go towards the care of the armed forces veterans who live there and the upkeep of the 17th century building that houses them.

In a career spanning five decades Welshman Jones has sold more than 100 million albums. Starting in the late 1960s he headlined for 40-plus years in Las Vegas so the Royal Hospital venue should be an interesting departure for him.

Sir Tom (Delilah, Green Green Grass of Home, Sex Bomb, What’s New Pussycat,  Thunderball), has remained popular for half a century, always managing to attract new, younger audiences. At the time of writing he is appearing as a coach to hopefuls on The Voice UK, the Saturday night talent discovery show on ITV.

The Voice has allowed Jones to regenerate interests in some of his old hits. For example, he fortuitously turned his chair after hearing the singing of Peter Donegan. He was the only coach to do so.

I say fortuitously because it transpired that Donegan is the son of the late Lonnie Donegan, a friend of Sir Tom’s. Lonnie had written a great 1967 song – I’ll Never Fall in Love Again – but had offered it to Jones because it wasn’t his style.

Jones and Peter Donegan performed the song together on the show and it went down very well. Look it up on YouTube (/www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5z-Nr3QhQ)

The nasty cynical journalist in me did wonder if Jones’s turning was purely on the strength of the young Donegan voice or had the producers told him it would be a good idea? Whatever, it led to a really nice moment on the show so, if the producers did encourage Jones to turn, I think they could be forgiven.  

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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