In a far cry from the days when she worked as an unfulfilled cabaret singer, Paloma Faith glided onstage at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena to a captivated crowd of thousands. It was the first time that she had played a show in Wales and judging from the intermittent cries of “We love you Pah-loh-mah.” it had been a long time coming.
When watching Faith’s faultless performance it is evident that she’s a born show-woman. A lyric from dance number Blood, Sweat and Tears springs to mind as she gets the crowd bouncing to the beat. ‘I put on quite a show.’ could not ring truer as coloured lasers turn the concert into a temporary club night. The stage plays host to giant silver palm trees and it is little touches like these that put Paloma head and shoulders above the rest. Seated crowd members sneak out of their chairs to congregate on the beer-sticky dance floor; feeling obliged to get up and move. Faith flits around the stage that she shares with her eight piece band; despite the six inch scarlet heels on her feet. She endearingly apologises for playing her older material and shakes up the set list with an impromptu Etta James cover so that ‘we don’t get bored’.
The songs from Faith’s second album ‘Fall To Grace’ resonate through the Arena, echoed back by the crowd. Unfathomably, Paloma’s powerhouse vocals dominate the bass line, which shakes the floor during the up tempo numbers, When things slow down, the audience listen in awe. When things stop, Paloma cracks her IPhone out for an instagram opportunity.
However seasoned a performer Faith may be (advising the crowd that her merchandise is machine washable) she is clearly relishing her first theatre tour. With a wide grin that is visible from the stands, she recalls something her mother told her when she was growing up. “Not everyone will like you, the sooner you accept that, the happier you’ll be.”
Paloma’s decision to avoid the cookie cutter chanteuse route is evident in the way she has un-apologetically stamped her personality over every aspect of her live performance; from her fancy costume to her candid stage presence. Faith remains quirky between songs; and her reluctance to concede to the pop mould has only made her all the more crowd pleasing. “Thirty minute love affair?”
I think Paloma Faith has our hearts for life.