A magician’s assistant, a shop assistant and a burlesque dancer; the previous jobs of style icon and soul singer Paloma Faith couldn’t get much more diverse.
But with two Brit Award nominations and two platinum albums, the singer is clearly making a success of her current incarnation, as she took to the stage at Portsmouth Guildhall last night to rapturous applause.
Paloma appeared as if from nowhere. Draped in a glittering wing-like structure she was surrounded by golden palm trees and mirrors, as well as a five-piece band and three backing singers.
Recently, Paloma stated in an interview with The Guide that she doubts she will win at the Brit Awards. But it seems her fans don’t agree with her. She touches upon the subject and says she didn’t care for them much until she was nominated.
More than a music performance, last night almost felt like a theatrical experience. Paloma’s cabaret and dance background showed as she spun and moved across the stage.
At one point, she ran from the rain that danced as shadows on the stage and sang under a falling cascade of blue confetti in her finale.
She dramatically flung herself backwards as she listened to the guitar play and lazily draped herself across a black piano.
Songs from her latest album, Fall To Grace, littered the start of her performance, including 30 Minute Love Affair and INXS’s Never Tear Us Apart.
Her notes were faultless, and her honesty is comical as she happily announces that she is going to do just four songs from her first album, Stone Cold Sober, because she’s bored of performing them by now.
Crowd-pleasers such as Upside Down soon got everyone up on their feet and singing back to her, with Picking Up The Pieces producing another huge sing along.
What was easily the biggest charm of the night, aside from the beautiful singing, was Paloma’s kooky chatter with the audience. Telling girls off for chanting her name like at a football match, it felt as if she was being exactly the same as she would be in everyday life.
Manchester-born Josephine opened for the retro soul singer with songs from her debut album, Portrait. Having opened for Paolo Nutini and BBC Sound of 2012 winner Michael Kiwanuka, Josephine kicked off the night with songs including I Pray That I Move and What A Day.
Paloma Faith will be heading back to the area on Sunday, June 16 to perform at the Isle of Wight festival.