‘Since when was I ever adhering to any kind of protocol?’
Paloma Faith is currently strutting across a stage that’s designed to look like a giant biome. She’s wearing a dress that’s coated in glitter, and she’s halfway through belting out a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. These aren’t the sort of things that you’d normally expect a recent BRIT Award winner to be doing. Then again, Paloma Faith isn’t a normal pop star.
Faith first appeared in 2009 with her devilishly catchy debut single Stone Cold Sober. She hasn’t stopped since – in the past six years she’s recorded three albums, released sixteen singles and performed on numerous sold-out tours, and she’s showing no signs of letting up any time soon. Her show at Cornwall’s gorgeous Eden Project is a visual and audio spectacular, and it’s a true pleasure to watch – Faith is one of pop music’s best vocalists, and her theatrical stage show confirms her status as one of the country’s most exciting live performers.
Her eighty-minute set mainly focuses on tracks from her third (and most recent) studio album, A Perfect Contradiction. Singles Can’t Rely On You and Only Love Can Hurt Like This are given an airing, as are fan favourites Love Only Leaves You Lonely and Impossible Heart. Fan favourite Other Woman is a sassy twist on the conventional break-up song format, while hit single Stone Cold Sober serves to provide the first mass singalong of the night.
Support act Liam Bailey serves as the perfect warm-up for Faith and her band – a melodic and shimmering reworking of his Chase and Status collaboration Blind Faith ensures that each and every audience member is singing along by the end of it, while standout track Old Reliefs is packed full of soulful blues guitar and some seriously impressive vocals by Bailey.
A special mention must also go to her extravagantly talented backing band. Featuring instruments including trombones, saxophones and double-basses, and dressed immaculately in white, they never fail to sing, dance and play in a way that perfectly complements both Faith’s unique vocal talents and quirky stage antics. We also can’t ignore tonight’s venue. The Eden Project is, as a venue, flawless. Nestled in the heart of the Cornish countryside, the fact that the stage is set in the midst of the Project’s famed biomes only adds to the evening’s sense of grand occasion. We’d recommend it to anybody.
An encore of Faith’s Sigma collaboration Changing closes the show in a bundle of rave-influenced dance-pop, before Faith introduces each member of her band to the crowd and strolls off stage. She’s genuinely one of the strongest live vocalists we’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, and it’s impossible not to be entertained by her often over-the-top and omni-theatrical stage show. Go down to a Paloma Faith show – you won’t regret it.