Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paloma Faith at Somerset House: Review

"Sing along if you know the words. If you don't, feel free to gently partake in the observation of the whole thing."

A Paloma Faith show is as memorable for the star's stage patter as it is for the songs. She has the same linguistic flourishes as Russell Brand, delivered with the petulant lisp of Violet Elizabeth Bott.

"I'm sorry for the rain," she told the audience at London's Somerset House last night. "I had an arrangement with God to keep it dry, but I guess I pissed him off. Again."

He must have been pleased with her set, though, because the rain dried up after the opening number – When You're Gone - which she performed standing on top of a toy piano.

It was one of the few theatrical touches in a show that seemed strangely stripped-back. I had expected a lavish production, with dancers and lights and a man dressed as a bear – but, as the singer acknowledged: "My record label already think I spend too much: 'She does the show of someone infinitely more successful than what she is."

The 27-year-old more than made up for it with her vocals, which pack in more drama than a box set of The Wire. The melodramatic miseriballads from her new album soared, especially Agony and Picking Up The Pieces, while Stone Cold Sober and Upside Down provided a much-needed tempo boost.

The show concluded with a frock-rocking new song, Cellulite, excluded from Fall To Grace for being "too jolly", and Freedom – which was prefaced by a long speech about BREAKING the RULES and DISOBEYING society’s CONVENTIONS (the effect was curtailed somewhat when members of the audience, who had been invited on stage, were promptly ushered off in case Paloma broke her curfew).

She plays the venue again tonight – and there are tickets available on the door if you feel like gently partaking in the observation of the whole thing.

Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces

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