She belted out all the old favourites beneath threatening skies at Somerley House near Ringwood – and even managed a few new tunes too.

Thousands gathered to see the Tiger Bay temptress strut her stuff on July 14, 2001 – lots of them loaded with picnics.

There were ornate gazebo style structures dotted throughout the open-air venue and some revellers were dining in style. One group even tucked into beef wellington followed by strawberries and cream.

After 40 odd years of performing her classic tunes, none of them had lost their edge. Bassey's voice was every bit as powerful and clear as it ever was.

Favourites such as Hey Big Spender, delivered twice because the crowd loved it so much, Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever brought squeals of delight from an adoring audience.

She shimmied and wiggled her hips in a bejewelled, skin-tight gown that glittered nearly as bright as the star herself.

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A measure of her star quality was the way she played her audience. When she announced she was going to drop in a rendition of Summertime – her special "party-piece" normally reserved for more intimate gatherings – the crowd felt honoured.

The firework spectacular was a sight to behold, especially the last explosion which brought thousands of twinkling stars to the cloud-covered sky.

But even they could not outshine the luminous Ms Bassey.

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