Girl next door' Paloma Faith wows Newmarket
Fans packed into the July Course at the end of a day of racing as part of the Newmarket Nights series of concerts
On Friday, June 22, Paloma Faith – an endearingly flamboyant artist whose varied musical stylings seem to appeal to young and old alike – provided a fine display of her undoubted brilliance as an entertainer.
Looking striking in a white catsuit and vintage shawl, the flame-haired singer/songwriter from Hackney’s set consisted mainly of songs from her latest album, 2017’s The Architect.
Backed by a solid eight-piece band, which included three outstanding female backing singers, Faith also had a lady to the side of the stage translating her words and lyrics into sign language.
The first song off the record with which I was familiar was its lead single, Crybaby, its infectious, soulful groove making it the perfect track for a warm summer’s evening.
Ahead of My Body – a track on the deluxe version of The Architect – an earnest Faith explained the thinking behind it: that our bodies do such wonderful things every day (she mentioned her recent pregnancy as an example) and that we shouldn’t worry about the pressure of having to look a certain way.
I’ll Be Gentle is a tender duet sung with John Legend on the album, but tonight it was touchingly performed with one of her guitarists, BB Bones.
In a rather long semi-rant, Faith – who managed to come across as charming and likeable throughout, despite occasionally coming close to rambling – suggested that it seems “trendy and cool to be an a******e” nowadays.
She expressed her belief of the importance of committing acts of kindness on a daily basis and revealed how she tries to do this on her website.
Some older songs from her previous three albums featured – though not as many as I would have liked – and outstanding among these were Picking Up the Pieces and the ever-catchy Can’t Rely on You.
The powerhouse vocalist drew laughter from the audience when explaining how she ended up covering Cass Elliot’s Make Your Own Kind of Music for a Skoda advert, stating that she doesn’t usually approve of celebrity endorsements for products, but felt that Skoda was a brand worth celebrating due to how it’s gradually become more respected over the years.
Make Your Own Kind of Music, Lullaby, and Changing followed in quick succession and were probably the most enthusiastically received songs of the night. Towards the end, the down-to-earth star removed her footwear, announcing: “This is girl-next-door territory.”
The set ended with Only Love Can Hurt Like This, this beautiful tune sending me – and I imagine thousands of others – off into the night tired and happy.
Artists still to come over the next couple of months include James Blunt, Craig David, Plan B and Nile Rodgers.