‘What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts’ – Sir Tom Jones looks forward to performing Newmarket Nights
- Credit: Archant
At the peak of a career that spans five decades and after a fourth hit series with The Voice, sold-out shows in the UK, Europe and US, it’s been another successful year for Sir Tom Jones. He talks about how his voice has got better and deeper with age, how he keeps hits sounding fresh and why fans are in for a treat next month when he performs Newmarket Nights as part of a 40-date tour across the UK and Europe.
With your shows and appearances on The Voice, it’s been quite a year for you.
Sir Tom: Yes. Doing The Voice for the BBC is planned early, and we have to fit in recording and touring as well.
I’ve got a really good touring set-up; I have a band in the States and have a UK-based band for gigs this side of the world.
We play songs from my two recent albums Praise and Blame and Spirit in the Room, plus a couple of new ones.
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We’ve also worked out some fun new arrangements on favourite tracks like Delilah, Kiss and It’s Not Unusual. It’s good to come up with different arrangements to invigorate the tunes and to keep us all on our toes.
Does it surprise you that you’re popular across the generations? The Voice has introduced you to a new audience.
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Sir Tom: It happens with every generation. Whenever I put out new stuff I’m introduced to a new audience.
If new material gets a good reaction they will also re-release the back catalogue and often people will appreciate some lesser-known tracks from back in the day.
Now, with The Voice, I go to restaurants in London and get children shouting at me in the street.
And you’re in the best form playing live that you’ve ever been?
Sir Tom: My voice is still as strong as ever, though as you get older your voice gets lower and so my tone and range has gone from a tenor to a baritone.
My lower tones are much richer than they were. What you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts.
It’s been three years since you released your album “Spirit In The Room”. Can we expect another album soon?
Sir Tom: Yes hopefully. My producer Ethan Johns and I have continued working together. Whenever we get a chance, we gather the musicians together and get to work.
We’ve recorded 29 songs over last year and now we’re in the process of putting together a selection that will form a body of work.
Your last number one album was in 1999 with Reload. Is getting another number one important to you?
Sir Tom: It’s great to know that my records are selling and people love them but it’s important to remain creative, so it’s a bonus when they do well in the charts.
The music business is in a very different place presently, as far as record sales go. It’s extremely hard for musicians to earn a living from recordings now.
You turned 75 on June 7. Does it surprise you that you’re still performing at your age?
Sir Tom: Yes, and particularly when I’m invited to be on a line-up with bands at big pop and rock festivals.
I’m thankful that my voice is still powerful and my vibrato hasn’t slowed down. I’m still singing naturally and I don’t’ have to put a spike into it.
• Sir Tom Jones plays Newmarket Nights on Friday, August 7. Adult ticket prices start at £28. To purchase, visit newmarket.thejockeyclub.co.uk