REVIEW: Tony Christie glitters brilliantly on Golden Anniversary Tour
(Is This the Way to) Amarillo isn't even the highlight. But it comes close.
His tour includes a return date to his native Yorkshire at Grimsby Auditorium, November 11. Full details and of all remaining tour dates below.
National treasure Christie proved at Leeds City Varieties that his repertoire is the gift that keeps on giving and growing, with hit after hit - yet still only scratching the surface of his new 50-track album 50 Golden Greats.
Avenues and Alleyways, I Did What I Did for Maria, Las Vegas and Solitaire were all on show, plus other golden oldies including Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast and Don't Go Down to Reno, celebrate an incredible half a century as a recording artist.
We also got his own amazing versions of Like Sister and Brother, Jezebel and Mr Bojangles, complete with a whistling old soft shoe routine, more than good enough to give Sammy a run for his money.
The 73-year-old is still ready to reinvent himself, as we are reminded with his fabulous delivery of Walk Like a Panther, written for him by Pulp's Jarvis Cocker.
But it was his amazing vocal delivery of even more contemporary tracks, The Key Of U, Damned and Now's The Time, from the 2011 album of the same name, which were my own personal favourites, and proof if needed that our top living crooner has got more unfinished business.
VIDEO: Watch Tony, on our embedded YouTube player, performing Damned, from his 2016 new album recorded in Nashville, on The Carmen Nebel Show..
Watching the elder statesman of popular music perform live is something to behold.
Not unlike a panther he prowls the stage and owns it.
He characteristically bends his knees and slightly arches his back to create notes a man half his age would be proud of and the master of the microphone technique knows just how to shape a tune to perfection.
The white-haired Godfather of show business, dressed immaculately in a three piece suit and open neck white shirt, also delivers wonderful anecdotes.
We hear how Anthony Fitzgerald became Tony Christie after watching Julie Christie in 1965 film Darling; how Tom Jones was fuming to hear his management had turned down Las Vegas, which he loved, but which gave Christie his big break and how 'fifth' Beatle Billy Preston and Jimmy Page, who went on to form Led Zeppelin, performed on his first recording.
In the first half he even eludes to his Irish roots as guest vocalist with the mesmerising Celtic quartet Ranagri, who enthralled with harp, flute, bodhran, guitar to reproduce some of the hits from last year's album together, The Great Irish Songbook.
So here we have the epitome of showman. And no show is complete without a signature tune.
Just as Sinatra was know for his closing offerings - My Way and New York, New York - there is only one way to close a Tony Christie show.
Amarillo and Tony Christie will always be mentioned in the same breath and rightly so. A great song needs a great singer. And as he admits, it was a blessing not a curse. The song was a global hit 45-years ago and topped the charts as the best selling single of 2005 when Peter Kay turned it into a music video for Comic Relief.
Even The Hobbit and Sherlock star Martin Freeman - spotted in the Leeds crowd during a break filming Ghost Stories - was up out of his seat to sing-a-long. It's elementary why... like the rest of us, he wanted to see the legend in action.
AUDIO: Listen to Graham Walker's fascinating exclusive interview with Tony Christie - talking frankly about his faith, career, new album and tour - CLICK HERE.
BUY: Tony Christie's 50 Golden Greats album is available to download now on iTunes or Amazon. Also visit the official Tony Christie site at www.tonychristie.com, follow him on Twitter @TheTonyChristie and like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheTonyChristie.
Tony Christie's Golden Anniversary TourNovember 2016
4 – Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering10 – Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
11 – Auditorium, Grimsby
12 – Playhouse, Weston Super Mare17 – Tullamore Court Hotel18 – INEC - Gleneagle Hotel, Co. Kerry19 – Cork Opera House21 – Millennium Forum Theatre, Derry22 – Ulster Hall, Belfast23 – Carrickdale Hotel, Dundalk24 – Armagh City Hotel26 – Shanklin Theatre, Isle Of WightDecember 20164 – Ennepetal, Leo Theater6 – Erfurt, Kaisersaal7 – Schwabach Markgrafensaal9 – Bonn, Brückenforum