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Music star Tom Jones to play church? It's not unusual

PUBLISHED: 17:38 08 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 14 October 2010

Undated Handout Photo of Tom Jones. See PA Feature MUSIC Tom Jones. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MUSIC Tom Jones.

Undated Handout Photo of Tom Jones. See PA Feature MUSIC Tom Jones. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MUSIC Tom Jones.

IT could be raining knickers in Upper Street next week when music legend Sir Tom Jones performs his new gospel album in its entirety – in an Islington church. Sir Tom, 70, has been receiving five-star reviews for latest record Praise & Blame – a back to

IT could be raining knickers in Upper Street next week when music legend Sir Tom Jones performs his new gospel album in its entirety - in an Islington church.

Sir Tom, 70, has been receiving five-star reviews for latest record Praise & Blame - a "back to basics" collection of blues and gospel standards that has gone gold after selling 100,000 copies in just six weeks.

The Welsh crooner is promising "a very special show" when he performs the album from start to finish at the 800-capacity Union Chapel, in Compton Avenue, off Upper Street, next Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Valley Music, Sir Tom's management company, said: "The Union Chapel is a fitting backdrop for the collection of songs that have garnered plaudits from critics and public alike. It promises to be a very special show."

The Grade II listed landmark, which still functions as a working church, has carved out a successful double life as a comedy and music venue - albeit with alcohol banned from the pews.

The singer's last gig before his Islington show will be for 60,000 fans at a Help for Heroes fundraiser, at Twickenham rugby stadium, on Sunday, where he will perform alongside Islington's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

The former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson pupil turned chart-topper made her debut UK concert performance at The Union Chapel last year.

Peter Stapleton, project manager of The Union Chapel, said: "We do get a lot of big acts but it was very exciting when we got confirmation. I do like his stuff going back to the 60s but I've not heard the new album yet. We might have to have a good sweep up afterwards if people start throwing their knickers at him!"

Sir Tom's Union Chapel gig sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale last Thursday.

Speaking about Praise & Blame, he said: "We wanted to go back to basics, go back to the source. No gimmicks - just capture the meaning of the song, its spirituality."

In his 1960s and 1970s heyday, Sir Tom's live shows were famed for his ardent female fans throwing their underwear on stage.

His catalogue hits include It's Not Unusual, Delilah, What's New Pussycat, Kiss, and Sex Bomb.


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