Attempting to keep up appearances, or even basic personal hygiene, is beyond futile for most people here. Not so for Welsh diva Shirley Bassey. Whether it's Caesars Palace or out the back of a Somerset dairy farm in the driving rain, Dame Bassey doesn't rough it. The 70 year-old singer couldn't be more incongruous, or classy, taking to the stage in a pink sequined dress and matching feather boa surrounded by a full black-tied orchestra and conductor.
This is the traditional living legends slot, filled in the past by the likes of Johnny Cash and Tony Bennett and Bassey is loving every minute of it. Kicking off with her version of Pink's "Let's Get This Party Started," she particularly relishes lines like "you've been loving my ass." The crowd cheer every subtle wink, leg-flash and wiggle during "Big Spender." Watch and learn, Pussycat Dolls. But Bassey had only started dishing out the lessons, commenting after a belting rendition of "Goldfinger," "I have to say, Arctic Monkeys, that's how it's done," before thanking the young band for covering "Diamonds Are Forever," another of her three Bond-themes on Friday night. The hits kept coming till a rousing finale of "I Am What I Am," then Bassey was off for a glass of Champagne, as she told the dirtiest audience to whom she has ever played.