Aled Jones can be forgiven for being thrilled that his new album has overtaken Adele in the UK best-seller charts and Andre Rieu in the Australian charts impressing even his disbelieving children. After all, it is about thirty years since he had a #1 album and that was when he was a boy soprano.
Not an inconsiderable time between drinks! The 46 year old Aled began the concert singing an Ersikay Love Lilt
When I'm lonely dear white heart Black the night or wild the sea
By love's light my foot finds The old pathway to thee
His voice was beautiful and his technique flawless.
But it was when the 12-year-old Aled appeared on screen and they sang together and in harmony that the magic began.
He told the tale of how his mother discovered a 30-year-old DAT tape of the young Aled in their airing cupboard and how they listened to it together and came up with the idea of the two Aleds singing together on what has become their 32nd recording.
For the first half of the program, most of the songs featured the two Aleds highlights being "Oh Rowan Tree" and "All through the Night".
And of course "An Irish Tune from County Down"
A great deal of the charm of the evening was Aled's personality, as he wove anecdote after anecdote around the songs, apparently spontaneously and interacted in an easy and relaxed way with the audience.
In his Welsh "bracket" an audience member waved a Welsh flag, and this was woven into the patter "I'll have to plant people with flags in the next concert".
In the second half, we saw how a relaxed professional deals with the unexpected. From stage left came an almighty crash.
Aled stopped and noted that a large wooden panel had fallen onto the stage. Concerned that someone might have been hurt, he requested that the house lights be raised. All was well, but he suggested that the stagehands test the remaining panels if another fell it might ruin someone's day. "While they are doing that" he said, "I'll play the piano".
He began to sing in a falsetto eerily like his treble younger self "We're walking in the air". Once the test was over, he stopped the song to our disappointment. But that was the only disappointment.
Given the combination of his anecdotes, effortless interaction with the audience, and flawless technique we had a wonderful time; it is not too much of a stretch to say that we felt that we were in the company of a gentle, good and eminently likeable man, as well as a consummate performer. Highlights in the second half were "You Raise Me Up","Deep Peace" and finally "How Great Thou Art".
Aled Jones is returning in July and when he asked the audience how many of them might come back, most enthusiastically committed to be there and one felt that they meant it. He had made a lot of friends, and we look forward to renewing the acquaintance, whether or not he and the young Aled still have a #1 album.
One tantalising piece of gossip he dropped is that his 12-year-old son is singing with him on his next album.
Now that I want to hear!
Aled Jones : One Voice Album
1. Eriskay Love Lilt
2. The Lark In The Clear Air
3. Danny Boy
4. Come To Me Soothing Sleep
5. Oh Rowan Tree
6. Ar Hyd Y Nos
7. Linden Lea
8. The Ash Grove
9. Dafydd Y Garreg Wen
10. The Plough Boy
11. Passing By
12. O Waly, Waly
13. Ye Banks And Braes O'Bonnie Doon
14. Confusion to my thoughts Will God, whose mercies ever flow?..'Tis my intention, lovely youth
15. As Time Goes By
The 46-year-old Classic FM and Songs of Praise presenter is father to 12-year-old Lucas and 16-year-old Doctor Who actress Emilia.