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REVIEW: TOM JONES at the Union Chapel

PUBLISHED: 15:23 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12:  Tom Jones performs live on stage during the Heroes Concert at Twickenham Stadium, in aid of the charity Help For Heroes, on September 12, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Tom Jones performs live on stage during the Heroes Concert at Twickenham Stadium, in aid of the charity Help For Heroes, on September 12, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

2010 Getty Images

UNION Chapel was the latest venue for Sir Tom Jones' foray into the spiritualist and gospel music scene. He promised a special show and did not disappoint. The stage was set for his first number What G

TOM JONES, Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1

UNION Chapel was the latest venue for Sir Tom Jones' foray into the spiritualist and gospel music scene.

He promised a "special show" and did not disappoint. The stage was set for his first number What Good Am I, recorded by Bob Dylan, from his latest album Praise And Blame.

Backed by just guitar, bass and drums, the magnificent voice - not faded by age - was incredible. The acoustics were simply awesome.

From there on in, stripping away all the showbiz "fripperies" we got to the real depth and soul of the man.

Classics like the rousing John Lee Hooker song Burning Hell had the rock'n'roll feel that Sir Tom himself said bridges these worlds: "Spiritualism was the birth of Rock and Roll".

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's Strange Things was a real rockabilly rouser too.

The Union Chapel was the perfect setting. With an 800-seat capacity, the show had an intimate, personal feel to it - and what better place to amplify Praise And Blame's spiritual and gospel elements?

This had to have been one of the highlights of Sir Tom's career, and it was spectacular to see this artist in the raw and at his very best, and not just the entertainer.

- ZENA BALDWIN


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