But then he cast off the leather trousers and hair dye and embraced grey follicles and artistic maturity. One thing that didn’t change was that mercurial voice, given a new lease of life in recent years with earthier, more challenging material.
The often stripped back gospel and blues vibe of albums Spirit In The Room, Praise & Blame and latest offering Long Lost Suitcase have earned Jones fresh ears and here fed into a more satisfying, rounded live set from the 76-year-old.
Jones arrived on stage with his large band in full rock mode, setting the scene for something other than a trip down memory lane holding Delilah’s hand.
Even the fan favourites were given arrangement makeovers, What’s New Pussycat accompanied by accordion, It’s Not Unusual lent a salsa lilt, Kiss given slinky, brassy muscle that Prince would have been proud of.
The cheesy Sex Bomb rose to the occasion with a meaty jazzy edge while If I Only Knew was brassy and funky.
For those brandishing Welsh flags Green, Green Grass Of Home might well have been a stand-out, but the likes of Mama Told Me Not Come, storming blues rocker I Wish You Would, a much covered ‘50s gem by Billy Boy Arnold, and his epic Bond theme Thunderball filled the venue as they put the crooner and his able band to work.
Jones has arguably improved with age and the closing boogie woogie, gospel, RnB mash-up Strange Things Happen Every Day was an epic sign-off from one of the world’s true vocal greats.
If only he would stay for a duet with tonight’s festival headliner, Mariah Carey. Now that really would be an ear-turner...