With a career spanning more than 50 years, Sir Tom Jones has a lot to draw on ahead of his show at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove on Sunday, July 17.
Despite his success over the years and the public’s continued affection for him, he says he is ever-thankful for how things have turned out.
Sir Tom says, “I knew from a very young age that I had a voice and I was musical.
“You have to have some natural gifts that you can develop, so I’m ever-thankful that I have a talent that also enables me to earn a living.”
Sir Tom’s distinctive voice and iconic records touched on pop, rock, soul, dance, country and gospel. To date he has achieved more than 100 million record sales, generated by hits such as It’s Not Unusual, Kiss, Delilah and What’s New Pussycat.
He says hearing what his music does to others means more to him than the knighthood he picked up 10 years ago.
Sir Tom says, “When someone comes up to me in the street, or writes a note and tells me how much my music means to them, or to someone they know, that’s the greatest achievement.
“The knighthood, I think, is a reflection of that; the honour is about what you actually do for people and it could be the simplest thing but, hopefully, it’s helpful and positive.”
Sir Tom has played in Brighton several times over the years, recently at the Brighton Centre in 2009, the same year he played Glastonbury.
He says, “I’ve played Brighton many times over the years and it’s a lovely, lively area. I wouldn’t say I know it well but I do know it has a thriving music scene, which is fantastic.”
Though not a cricket player himself, merely watching on TV, Sir Tom says he is looking forward to his show.
Sir Tom will air material from recent albums Spirit In The Room and Praise And Blame along with his latest, Long Lost Suitcase, a compilation of songs collected by him over years and stored in a suitcase only to be found years later and brought to life.
His aim with these albums was to move away from his entertainer tag and record songs in an organic, live way.
Sir Tom says, “When we work in the studio … we usually end up with what sounds great on my voice at any given time, what I naturally love to sing and what lyrics move me.
“We record everything live, so what you hear are complete performances – nothing is dropped in.”