When you hear the name Sir Tom Jones, it’s instantly recognisable. Since beginning his career in the 1960s, the Welsh music legend has obtained countless accolades. These include selling over 100 million records worldwide and being the oldest artist to have an album debut at Number 1. “Surrounded by Time” was released in 2021 and was the foundation for this stellar show in Stirling as part of his Ages & Stages Tour.

The first support was Germein, a pop band from Australia formed by sisters Georgia, Clara and Ella Germein. While I never managed to catch their full set, you could hear cheers and applause from outside of the concert’s grounds. I was, however, excited to catch the next support slot which came from Beverley Knight MBE. Described as the “Queen of British soul music,” she demonstrated exactly why she holds this title. Having sold out headline tours and becoming a gold and platinum selling artist, her performance was instantly intriguing. Her setlist consisted of a variety of tunes from her 30 year long music career so far.

Beverly Knight @ Stirling Summer Sessions (DF Concerts)

Beverly Knight’s energy was infectious and the stories accompanying each song were enlightening. One of these stories included the background behind her most recent album, “The Fifth Chapter”, which was released last year to coincide with her 50th birthday. From this album, she performed tracks like the catchy ‘Systematic Overload’, ‘I’m On Fire’, ‘Last One On My Mind’ and ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’. Some of these songs were also recorded with the London Community Gospel Choir. Older material like ‘Flavour Of The Old School’ also made the cut, from 1995 album “The B-Funk”. Throwing in a cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I’m Every Woman’, Beverly Knight definitely catered for all tastes and preferences as she danced and strutted around on stage.

Before leaving the stage, Beverly said about Tom Jones’ voice, “hold onto something because he’ll blow your clothes off,” and she couldn’t have been more accurate. Walking onto stage, Sir Tom Jones was met with immense applause and cheering from everyone within the Stirling City Park grounds. Opening with ‘I’m Growing Old’, which was taken from his most recent record “Surrounded By Time”, there was no more apt nor poignant way to begin an unforgettable headline set. This latest addition to his long career and discography was the foundation of the music legend’s setlist. Included were ‘Pop Star’, ‘Lazarus Man’ and ‘The Windmills Of Your Mind’.

Tom Jones @ Stirling Summer Sessions (DF Concerts)

The latter of those tracks was originally by Dusty Springfield, one of the many friends and artists Sir Tom Jones reminisced about throughout. Another artist he discussed was Bob Dylan, and he played his own version of ‘One More Cup Of Coffee’ to follow. Not included in this album, but within the headline performance, were other covers like Prince’s ‘Kiss’. Following on from the prevalent theme of storytelling, Jones told a tale about celebrating Willie Nelson’s 91st birthday with him, and his amazement surrounding Nelson still performing. Jones concluded this with, “and I’m only 84!

Also included in the set were some of his biggest and most memorable tunes like ‘Green Green Grass Of Home’ from the 1967 album of the same name, ‘What’s New Pussycat?’ and ‘It’s Not Unusual’. The latter two specifically received insane levels of audience participation, with many singing along with every word. Tracks like ‘Sex Bomb’ were changed slightly to accommodate for a change in notes. It shifted between an acoustic version to a swing alternative and this risk paid off highly.

Stirling Summer Sessions (DF Concerts)

For the encore, three tracks were played. This included another poignant track ‘One Hell Of A Life’ as well as a very energetic ending with ‘Johnny B. Goode’. The latter followed yet another story that he told about a time he went to see Chuck Berry with Elvis Presley who dubbed Berry “the real king of rock and roll”. From start to finish, I, along with everyone else, was in awe of the musical legend before us. He’s definitely an artist that many will have anticipated highly. This anticipation will definitely not have been met with disappointment. Sir Tom Jones’ voice is as powerful and as attention commanding as you’d think it would be. It was such an unforgettable night, and one I was so fortunate to experience.

SUMMER SESSIONS are set to continue at various locations over July & August and you can check out what’s still to come HERE!

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