Paloma Faith, Brighton Centre (Gig Review)

Review of Paloma Faith gig in Brighton – March 2015

So this was a first (not just because the line is called Thameslink again).  We jumped on the Thameslink train this evening to make the glamorous trip from Bedford to Brighton.  What sounds like a family outing to the seaside was anything but. 

First off, those Thameslink trains are awful, particularly at night.  A little bit smelly and the seem to stop everywhere, including places that I have never heard of.  Anyway, we were off to a gig, i think, the first one we had been to in Brighton.  So lets not shy away from this, Brighton is not just a nice seaside town to get chips in a cone and sticks of rock, is is the gay capital of the United Kingdom.  So no doubt the gig would be an OTT and extremely camp affair.

Paloma Faith gig in Brighton

Paloma Faith gig in Brighton

Well in all fairness, this gig was for Paloma Faith.  Yes she is a bit wacky. One could argue eccentric but there is much more to Paloma than a thinly veiled sense of theatrics.  Paloma Faith is a great singer songwriter and amazing performer, whom is often under-rated.  However it was great that she was recognised at The Brits with a gong.

So on to the gig.  Brighton was the first leg of her first ever arena tour.  Paloma was using this as a safe crowd and to hone the repertoire for some of the potential “more important legs”.  But I think she took this as seriously, if not more so than some future legs.  With her was, that Brit Award and also left-wing mouth Owen Jones (not quite sure why).  The fact that he warmed up for Paloma left not only me, but a large proportion of the crowd a little bemused.

This did not effect Paloma or the crowds desire to hear her perform.  The staging for the show was like something out of a remake of a Roald Dahl novel or a Katie Price wedding.  The stage boasted white tiers and played host to a brilliant band, that provided the loud and almost vintage sound backdrop to Paloma’s performance.

So Paloma Faith as we all know does not fit the contemporary pop star mould completely.  She has  a retro style voice, quirky tracks and a persona and image that makes her pop’s perennial bridesmaid.  Referencing the stage and her lovely white attire, this show seemed to cement that place as opposed to killing it off.

But its as if Paloma revels in this.  She will leave the auto-tuning, the expensive pyrotechnics and over engineered stage shows to her contemporaries.  What Paloma gives is an honest performance of tracks she believes in.

Highlights of the gig included a rendition of Aretha Franklin’s Baby I Love You.  For which she was joined by a gentleman that was only there to revel in her slightly comical school girl grind.  During New York she really interacted with the crowd, stealing chairs from those that had wandered and forcing people to their fit if they weren’t standing in appreciation, all in good fun.

The crowd was a little awkward if I’m honest.  Slightly older, wearing plenty of knitwear and containing a high proportion of professional iPhone photographers.  But as much as they were a little restrained and awkward, Paloma Faith was infectious.  She was passion and animation personified.

Whilst the gig had its teething problems, not least in its finale of Only Love Can Hurt Like This when the confetti failed to shower the stage, Paloma Faith was a champion performer.  Whilst some left the show a little subdued, that said more about them than her. 

I think the performances from Paloma Faith were brilliant.  I think I might even go and see her somewhere later in the tour to see how a different crowd reacts.  Now back to Bedford on a smelly train.  Good night!

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