Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Passion, power and politics define our night with vocal prodigy Paloma Faith at Birmingham’s Genting Arena. Instantly evocative, Paloma opened with ‘The Architect’, which brought to life a stunning set incorporating an iridescent mirror that was as hypnotising as a kaleidoscope. A pyramid of stairs hosted the rest of the band at different levels.

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‘Crybaby’ and ‘Guilty’ rounded-off the initial trio of comeback tracks of her 2017 album, her unconceivable vocal range is like that of Amy Winehouse, jazz inspired and infused with electricity. Humbled by the turn out of the fans that flocked in their thousands, the singer confessed her reservations about returning after her maternity break.

With attire as flamboyant as Elton, she struted the stage in an 80’s styled metallic flared cat suit with gaping sleeves and sequins galore. Her persona an intriguing combination of innocence and feistiness, her charismatic speeches were filled with humour from relating with plentiful women in the audience over the traumas of childbirth and the “drugs” that come with it to becoming body positive even when carrying “souvenir baby weight”.

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Re-establishing this celebration of ourselves ‘My Body’ uses a pop electro motion and synthesised vocals to get us moving in our seats.

Fully appreciating her band throughout the set she references each individual, her expressive backing singers who are each an individual talent, her Brummy Peter Daly on keys and her drummer an incredible musician fashioned to look like a quickly put together Elvis tribute – she was definitely the Queen of Rock n Roll.

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The admittedly peculiar seated audience was broken by two energetic ladies that burst from their seats to show appreciation for the beloved singer, much to the despise of the grumpy bouncers who escorted them back swiftly. Paloma only rejoices in this type of “revolution” and claims “fight the power”, dedicating the track to them, urging the rest of us too polite to have a good time to stand up.

Motherhood seems to have instigated political lyrics as Paloma is more aware of global crisis, she is the embodiment of a petition against racism, sexism, terrorism and more, she is becoming a musical movement for this generation. Like a true pioneer of politics she is a motivation to accept every individual and advocates togetherness, She describes it as an “epidemic of kindness”.

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Her catalogue of tracks from ‘Kings and Queens’ which tells the story of institutional discrimination, and belting a duet with BB Jones (filling in for John Legend) on an emotive ‘Be Gentle’.

‘Can’t Rely On You’ moves the audience into action with its groove funk beats whilst ‘Picking Up The Pieces’ shows off Paloma’s vocal artistry as she indulges the audience in a close up walk through the crowd, the fans part at her presence whilst breathless at her flawless range.

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Tempo changing summer songs begin to bring the set to a close with her collaborative work on Sigala’s ‘Lullaby’ and Sigma’s ‘Changing’. The backing trio of ladies projected gospel melodies and synchronised dancing with radiated a Dream Girls aura.

The floors rumbled beneath our feet to welcome the encore which opened with ‘Still Around’ that treated us to an heavy rock guitar solo from BB Jones whilst, ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ created a penultimate euphoria before ending on a high with ‘Love Me As I Am’, one final message of self-confidence for us to take away.

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One Response to “Paloma Faith at The Genting Arena, Birmingham, UK – 21st March 2018”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Gig Junkies Year in Review 2018 Says:

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