Gig Review: Paloma Faith at Royal Concert Hall

Words: Charlotte Gould
Photos: Laura Patterson
Monday 08 April 2024
reading time: min, words

'There’s nothing more human than failure’ a poignant backdrop to a powerful set, I take my seat as the lights fall over the Royal Concert Hall.

Paloma Faith (4)

Paloma Faith is a force of nature on stage, radiating an electrifying and contagious energy as she captivates her audience with ‘How to Leave a man’ from her sixth album ‘Glorification of Sadness’. The experience is empowering as she waltzes about on the stage in a metal studded leather jacket, matching shoes, and a glittery Iron Maiden top. Like many of the people around me, I can’t help but chant the chorus with her.

With raw emotion and unapologetic confidence, Paloma takes her listeners on a journey through the depths of human emotion, celebrating resilience, self-discovery, and empowerment. She introduces her next track by stating she is not a ‘good girl, a call to the stereotype women feel they are pigeonholed into at times, she is in fact a ‘Bad Woman’. Her electrifying stage presence and unwavering commitment to delivering an unforgettable performance make her a true powerhouse in the music industry. With strobe lighting and smoke machines, this is a Friday night done right.

Between songs, she speaks about Motherhood, Perimenopause, and the relationships that have defined her life. She refers to her divorce, the heartache of something ending especially when children are involved, she speaks about the relationship with her fans and her career, mentioning her fears surrounding losing both the father of her children and her fans but looking around me, almost every seat is taken up which Paloma herself must see as she says ‘Thank you for making my tour sell out, we have had a relationship for 16 years which other than the one with my mum I don't think I've had one longer’.

Paloma Faith (18)

She performs the emotional ballad, Divorce, standing in her spiky heels at the top of a stage, illuminated by a single spotlight, then, sat at the piano she belts empowering  I am Enough and sings Already broken, a hopeful call out to trying again, giving love a go again, stood center stage. The stage, a true reflection of Paloma's power, possesses an otherworldly aura. It evokes the sensation of being on the moon, with a central sloping ramp that adds an extra dimension to the setting, that creates a transportive experience for the audience.

As the audience wipes away a few tears between whoops and cheers, Paloma comes to the front of the stage again and claims that she is in her ‘Selfish era, after spending years living for other people, which as women we do too much’ She tells us all that she wrote this album to rock out to so if we can then stand up, have a dance and enjoy the next few tunes before asking the audience to stand up for the next few songs as she performs the more energetic, rock-edged, and angry ‘Hate When You’re happy’ and the fun Enjoy Yourself’ before she sits down with the audience, sprays some throat spray saying that her children may have made her sick.

‘Speaking about motherhood I have actually written a book, MIlF which I have changed up to mean motherhood, identity, love, and  fuckery’ which is met with more cheers and applause.

Paloma Faith (19)

Following on her promise of being in her selfish era, Paloma Faith claims she is her own support band, and she will return after a short instrumental because ‘twice is good for women’ which is met with a ripple of laughter as she introduces her last song. Despite some technical issues, Paloma remains upbeat, applauding her band and telling them not to apologize as they are incredible and it gives me more chance to talk to you guys! She speaks about her merch, the patriarchy before performing ‘Sweatpants’ as she walks, barefoot, through the crowd.

A vision in vibrant red breaking out into the main act of the night by performing ‘Stone cold sober’ a more nostalgic experience, a fun, high-energy song that has the audience up again. This is the era that introduced me to the powerhouse that is Paloma Faith. She continues this with  track, ‘ Picking up the pieces’ and finishes with the iconic ‘Only Love can hurt like this’ which sees the concert hall full of teary-eyed, torchlit audience members, belting it out in unison.

Whether belting out her chart-topping hits or delving into the raw, unfiltered emotions of her newest tracks, Paloma Faith ignites a spark in her audience that transcends the boundaries of a typical concert, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and empowerment, reminding us that whatever we are facing we will get through it.

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