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Review: Tom Jones at Delamere Forest

Mature women held frilly knickers aloft in time-honoured fashion at music legend's Saturday concert

Tom Jones at Delamere Forest, Saturday, July 1, 2017. Picture by Salle Ehlen(Image: UGC TCH)

Legendary Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones was the biggest act of a fabulous weekend of music at Delamere Forest which also featured rock band Elbow and concluded with 80s crooner Rick Astley.

Sir Tom pulled in a huge crowd on the hill above a stage set against the backdrop of the trees as part of the Forestry Commission’s annual series of concerts.

His opening number, Burning Hell, set pulses racing.

And the pop megastar, with a full throated roar of a voice, was on song all night – defying his 77 years on this earth.

Better known among the younger generation as a judge on ITV’s talent show The Voice, the audience in the forest were a more mature crowd. This included a group of women, some of pensionable age, who held frilly knickers aloft in time-honoured fashion with the odd pair catapulted in Sir Tom’s direction.

Tom Jones at Delamere Forest, Saturday, July 1, 2017. Picture by Salle Ehlen(Image: UGC TCH)

Those gathered were not disappointed when Sir Tom rolled out his greatest hits including It’s Not Unusual, What’s New Pussycat, Green, Green Grass of Home, Sex Bomb and a special tribute to the late Prince when he performed Kiss.

I became a little concerned at the enthusiasm with which the crowd joined in with the violent lyrics of Delilah but it’s a bit of a pantomime, I suppose.

The crowds loving the atmosphere at Delamere Forest last weekend. Picture: Paul Dulac(Image: PUBLICITY PIC)

Frankly, I was more traumatised when my pal got a little carried away during a cover of Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On and pretty much did as instructed. Topless and swinging his shirt aloft, he did indeed leave on his Yorkshire flat cap, swaying his bare tummy to the rhythm as women looked on aghast with faces based on those emoji symbols.

Sir Tom Jones performing at Delamere Forest. Picture: Paul Dulac(Image: PUBLICITY PIC)

Between numbers, Sir Tom referenced being sacked from the BBC’s version of The Voice – not that he’s bitter – and talked movingly about meeting his late wife Linda through their shared love of music and their enduring, if unconventional, marriage. It was widely reported that her death in April last year led Sir Tom to spiral into depression at the time.

Sallie Ehlen, Ceris Evans and Debbie Burns from Chester pictured at the Tom Jones concert on Saturday(Image: UGC TCH)

But he was on form on Saturday night and even a heavy downpour later into the evening could not dampen people’s spirits at an event that will live long in the memory.

Referencing one of his hits, Sir Tom wrote on Facebook the next day: “DIDN’T IT RAIN Delamere...But we danced and sang through it! Thank you!”

Earlier, at the start of the weekend, it was rock band Elbow who graced the stage but not before vocalist Guy Garvey had a few adjustments made to his thatch as he was having ‘a bad hair day’.

Elbow at Delamere Forest, Friday, June 30, 2017. Picture by Terry Marland(Image: UGC TCH)

City centre bar owner and ‘friend to the stars’ John Locke of The Commercial got a message from a worried Guy asking for help. John called in his pal and barber extraordinaire Ryan Ephraim from GHQ barbers. Job done!

Despite people’s fears, it didn’t rain that night and Elbow were described as ‘magnificent’, Guy as being on ‘good form’. One blogger felt ‘almost moved to tears’.

Elbow at Delamere Forest, Friday, June 30, 2017. Picture by Terry Marland(Image: UGC TCH)

Last but not least was 80s legend Rick Astley who performed on the Sunday night when the rain again stayed away. Naturally he played his 1987 classic Never Gonna Give You Up which was a was a number one hit single in 25 countries.

Rick Astley performing at Delamere Forest. Picture: Paul Dulac(Image: PUBLICITY PIC)

Ange on Twitter summed it up for many when she commented afterwards: “Enjoyed your gig at Delamere Forest on Sunday. Loved your 80s music, took me back to my teenage years.”

While Trevor tweeted: “Had my yearly guilty pleasure on Sunday night at Delamere.”

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