Sunday Morning Coming Down

In 2015, Tom Jones, aged 75, released his 41st studio album “Long Lost Suitcase”.

In recent years, his role on The Voice UK aside, Jones has been striving to return to his musical roots, his credibility (rightly) dented by such hits as “Sex Bomb”.

Which reminds me: I found myself in Cardiff one night when he happened to be playing, at Cardiff Castle I think. I was heading towards The Hog’s Head, a bar (that used to be) alongside the Owain Glyndŵr, and found the square outside packed with women of a certain age, all drinking and getting their knickers ready to throw at him. I picked my way through the throng, but ultimately found my passage blocked by a very, very large lady with her sizeable back to me.

“Excuse me…” I said, tapping on her shoulder.

She turned to face me, and I saw that she had the word “Sex” written in lipstick on one cheek, and “Bomb” on the other.

“You’ve not heard of the Trades Description Act, I assume?” I said (under my breath, obviously), before ducking smartly into the bar.

Ever since he’s stopped dying his hair and proclaiming that he thought he was “gonna dance now”, Jones has started making bluesy, soul records again; now he lets his voice do the talking, if that isn’t a weird thing to say.

And here, he tackles one that’s a little bit Country:

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Tom Jones – Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used to Do?

Short, but sweet.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I seem to have featured Isobel Campbell in her Belle & Sebastian and The Gentle Waves incarnations here recently, so I may as well go for the hat-trick and feature a track from something from what is arguably her most successful phase: her union with gravel-voiced croaker, former Screaming Tree and Queen of the Stone Age, Mark Lanegan.

I has the great pleasure in seeing the duo play twice, once at the gorgeous Colston Hall in Bristol, once at Cardiff’s now sadly defunct and, I hear, derelict ‘The Point’, a converted church which became a staple venue for me around 2003; I saw not only Campbell & Lanegan there, but also Los Campesinos! and, of course, Super Furry Animals (and probably loads more that will come to me after I’ve finished writing this).

This is the opening track from “Ballad of the Broken Seas”, their first album of three, together. In my book, it’s by far the best of the three, earning the pair comparisons with Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood (Campbell & Lanegan used to so a version of “Summer Wine” live, which doubtless added fuel to the fire):

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Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Deus Ibi Est

There will be some more soon, but you knew that already, right?

Laters!