Tom Jones belts out a selection of greatest hits interspersed with tracks from his (at that time) new CD "Reloaded". Basically it's one big commercial for that duet filled album: three of the featured guests show up for a quick plug. Unfortunately this means we get live rendition of probably the two worst tracks on any T.J. album: the abominable remake of the Kinks' 'Sunny afternoon' with Space and an immensely irritating version of 'Baby, it's cold outside' featuring Cerys. This Welsh version of Minnie Mouse also chimes in on a sacrilegious version of 'What's new Pussycat' (let us hope Burt Bacharach never catches wind of this). Mick Hucknall's bit is okay I suppose, while Robbie Williams makes a surprise appearance via satellite, telling Tom he can do their duet (the Lenny Kravitz one) on his own.
The rest of the audience is made up out of ITV celebrities who take turns asking questions from Q-cards. Ulrika wants to take "The Tiger" home with her and it would not be 'An Audience with' without Clive James and that self degrading smugness of his. All of them try to milk their little cameos for as long as possible. Tom proves himself the better actor in some cases (stay off the booze, Barney Bodger). Then again, he is obviously very relaxed knowing exactly which anecdote will lead into the next song. Strangely enough most of these stories resolve in and around bathrooms (even the one featuring Elvis). Too bad Bill Wyman decided not to ask about the days when Jones was opening for the Stones (methinks the producers would not allow it).
Of course the best part of any Tom Jones show is him proving that he can still sing 'em like he used to. The cavalcade of unforgettable numbers even includes 'Thunderball', which he often claims to be too exhausting to sing live. As an added bones we learn why Welsh telephone boxes have a special place in the Tiger's heart. Another plus: this was recorded before Tom grew that devilish goatee that makes him look like some kind of Arabian sheik.
8 out of 10
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