Tom Jones-Live at Cardiff Castle (2001)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (62:11)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Emyr Afan|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Tom Jones, Wales most loved export has been belting out the songs and making several generations of ladies swoon at the very sight of him for almost forty years. Just think of that for a second. Forty years doing something that he obviously loves, to many a packed house around the world, and moving with the times to an extent that he really cannot be classed as a nostalgia act even at the ripe old age of 62. That's a pretty fine effort, and what's more he really doesn't look like stopping.
Born in South Wales in 1940, like many young men of his time he very nearly followed his father into the main industry at the time, the very grubby coalmining, but serious sickness put an end to those thoughts. He worked as a labourer and would sing in his local pub as often as he could and even took lessons from a professional opera singer to further develop his obvious talent. His teacher thought he had real talent and suggested that if he work at it, she could mould him into a half-decent tenor. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for us, young Tom liked to sing pop songs, and was soon on his way to stardom. His 1965 hit and signature song It's Not Unusual reached Number 1 on charts around the world and was soon joined by songs such as Delilah, Green Green Grass Of Home, and Pussycat. He is the sort of artist who has also regularly updated his style in an effort to remain relevant to the sounds of the day and attract new legions of fans at the same time. This type of change was evident in songs such as the hit remake of the Prince classic Kiss in 1988 where he teamed with The Art Of Noise to make a rollicking and highly enjoyable version and also the 1994 song If I Only Knew which saw Tom manage some rap-style lyrics and delivery. This was also a huge hit and won many new fans.
This concert performance was like a homecoming for Tom Jones, playing three sell-out shows at Cardiff Castle in Wales. Filmed on 28 July 2001, to an absolutely packed out crowd, this was certainly a special show. It was also a rather impressive venue, and with the concert kicking off in the late afternoon, we are privileged to catch glimpses of the grand castle as the sun sets on its ancient walls. This tour, while not actually promoting the 1999 album Reload, features many of the songs from that collaborative album, including Burning Down The House, Never Tear Us Apart, and Are You Gonna Go My Way.
There is a fairly comprehensive set list that features virtually all of the Tom Jones classics in addition to the songs from Reload. He is helped out on stage by a substantial band, which includes the usual guitars, drums, bass and keyboards. In addition there is a percussionist, a horn section and a trio of backing singers. Things take a little while to warm up, but once the slightly disappointing INXS cover Never Tear Us Apart is over, we're in to the good stuff. Burning Down the House doesn't quite have the kick that the version with The Cardigans had, but when the crowd joins in for a rousing rendition of Delilah we're off and running. She's A Lady is always fun, as is If I Only Knew, complete with close-up tonsil shot. Rounding out the highlights would be the Green Green Grass of Home for obvious reasons, and the final song of the night, the temperature-rising Kiss.
The following songs are performed in the 100 minute show:
|1. A Lot of Love|
2. Hard to Handle
3. Help Yourself
4. Never Tear Us Apart
5. You're Right, I'm Left, She's Gone
6. Burning Down The House
8. She's a Lady
9. Without Love
10. Sometimes We Cry
11. Crapped Out Again
13. If I Only Knew
14. You Need Love Like I Do
|15. Mama Told Me Not To Come|
16. Give Me One Reason
17. Am I Wrong
18. A Boy From Nowhere
19. Never Fall In Love… Again
20. Green, Green Grass
21. Pussy Cat
22. Leave Your Hat On
23. Sex Bomb
24. It's Not Unusual
25. It's Your Thing
26. Are You Gonna Go My Way
This is a very nice video transfer, that is exactly as one would hope for given the reasonable youth of the source material. It is presented in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is also enhanced for 16x9 televisions. There are only minor problems to report.
A very detailed, sharp image is on offer here, so detailed you can almost catch a glimpse of Tom Jones' famous tonsils when he's in full song and the camera zooms straight in on him. There are no problems with shadow detail and while grain is certainly evident, apart from being most obvious during the wider crowd shots, it is seldom a cause for concern. There is no low level noise. Colours are really well defined, with a wide palette on offer. With a significant part of the show occurring while the sun is still up, there are fewer problems associated with intense stage lighting than is normally the case. Once the sun goes down and the artificial lighting takes charge, it is dominated by a white light that seldom causes any of the usual concert problems, and thankfully that is the case here.
There are no discernable MPEG artefacts. There is a little aliasing on some of the microphone stands and on the trombone slides, but this seldom becomes bothersome. There are virtually no other artefacts in what is a very clean image.
There is one subtitle option, these being English for the hard of hearing. While they are pretty accurate, like most concerts if you want to use them to join in for a sing-along they pop up on the screen just a fraction of a second too late.
This is a dual layered disc that is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at 62:11 right between Am I Wrong and A Boy From Nowhere. Like most live shows it is pretty obvious but as long as it doesn't interfere with a song I really don't care where it goes. This is as good a placement as can be expected.
There is no shortage of choices in the audio department with possibly the best selection of audio soundtracks I have seen for quite some time. There are a total of three tracks to choose from and somewhat unusually only one of them carries the Dolby Digital label. In addition to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at the bitrate of 448 Kb/s, we get a 768 Kb/s dts 5.1 soundtrack and a Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack Something for everyone really.
I listened to all three tracks and somewhat surprisingly found very little difference between ALL three - yes, that's right, all three soundtracks including the plain old PCM two channel effort offer pretty much the same thing. The 5.1 soundtracks both offer only very light vocals through the centre channel, with most of the action being reserved for the left and right channels. This includes vocals and all instruments. As a result the PCM track is very similar and often I actually found myself favouring this track over the other two, due to the less complicated nature of its mix and delivery. I found I wasn't looking over my shoulder all the time wondering if the rear speakers were actually working or not. Don't take this to mean that either the Dolby Digital or the dts tracks are rubbish, it's just that they are remarkably understated compared to what I have previously experienced. Don't go into this thinking you're in for a complete enveloping surround experience and you won't be disappointed. All three soundtracks offer excellent fidelity and crystal clear vocals. The audio sync is also spot on.
As I mentioned above there really isn't as much surround channel use as I thought there would be. There aren't even any real audience sounds, which is a little unusual.
The subwoofer sees use on both 5.1 surround soundtracks, though it is nothing really noticeable and does not draw undue attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
Running for 21:20 minutes, this is series of one-on-one interviews with Tom Jones and sees him discussing topics such as band members, his voice, and what performing in Wales means to him. Hardcore fans will probably not learn anything new, but for the uninitiated there is some interesting information presented.
There are ten photos which are displayed automatically for 1:03 minutes. They are all from either the actual show or backstage.
Broken up chronologically into the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, this list the albums (including compilations) that Tom Jones has released. The list is quite substantial and further highlights his longevity.
A list of the band and crew.
A four page booklet that doesn't actually contain any text, just photos.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I couldn't find any reference to this particular title in Region 1. The Region 2 title is exactly the same as ours so grab it wherever you can get it cheapest.
Tom Jones is certainly one of the most enduring artists still performing today. He certainly puts all his energy into his shows, and I found myself wanting to use the term gusto on numerous occasions to describe this. The set list is comprehensive and will please die-hard fans and those wanting a taste of the famous Welsh voice.
The video quality is excellent, anamorphic widescreen with no major problems.
The audio selection is comprehensive with three quality soundtracks that will surely please.
The extras are fairly light and brief.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|