When you're a national institution in your 80s, it could be easy to stop taking risks. Yet if you've heard a single minute of Surrounded By Time, the first album from Tom Jones in just over five years, you will have deduced that he does not intend to spend the rest of his life in comfy slippers. The word 'artist' is used frivolously on talent shows, but Jones is the real deal, a genuine artist who has seen it all from both sides of the camera.
One of the least creative things you can be is a National Institution. Sure, it's nice to be loved, but where is the space to manoeuvre? Fans - and there's a lot of them - come to expect your trademark, and arrive at gigs demanding something they recognise, as opposed to something that will surprise them. The past decade, however, has seen Tom Jones balance his role as a National Institution with some of the most gutsy and raw performances of his career.