Paloma Faith – Brighton Centre – 12th March 2018

Photo by Ben Walker

There is a reason why an artist goes double platinum on every release they share with the world, call it talent, luck or whatever you will, but there is no doubt that Paloma Faith is one of the world’s biggest names. This evening at the Brighton Centre has shown that she truly is one of the most talented pop artists around today, bringing with her not only a brilliant show to watch, but an experience which feels like stepping into the future of pop.

Opening tonight is XamVolo: simply put, this artist has the single most exquisite sound I’ve ever heard in a live environment. Undergoing a constantly cool persona behind his reflective shades and with a backing of soft jazz combined with a modern electronic twist, his set is truly something special. XamVolo’s vocals are divine to an all new level, his ability to shift between such powerful prolonged nots and soft, smooth jazz is impeccable, this is an artist who is not only destined for big things, but I expect he will be playing headline shows of a similar size to Paloma in no time at all. Simply brilliant.

As the titanic-sized curtain is pulled back to reveal the stunning crystal stage setup, Paloma rises from the back of the stage under Samuel L. Jackson’s monologue that starts the latest record, titled ’Evolution’. As soon as Paloma unleashes her voice though with ‘The Architect’, you can see why she is such a modern pop sensation. Her tones are powerful, passionate and contain such a level of radicalism that she simply exudes charisma to the crowd, whilst her glittering purple ball gown catches every light it comes into contact with and shimmers brilliantly in time with the track, producing a complete kaleidoscope of sound and colour. As the song comes to a finish, the crowd all let out a deafening applause in complete awe of this artist’s talent and showmanship.

The show continues with a number of hits from The Architect, with both ‘Crybaby’ and the brilliant ‘Lost And Lonely’ making early appearances to provide a great level of upbeat vibes to get the evening fully underway. Paloma’s personality shines through in all of her tracks and she frequently pauses the show during song intervals to speak in depth about the meaning behind each of her songs. ‘My Body’ is a particularly warming example as the track preaches the message of self love and embracing your flaws and quirks. As Paloma performs this one, you can truly see the level of fun and excitement on her face through some humorous choreography in suit with the rest of her entourage.

Another particular stand out moment is the both captivating and intimidating ‘WW3’ an era which Paloma sombrely explains that we’re already in, but have the power to stop through kindness and loving one another. The track’s pounding drums and overall military tone suit Paloma’s voice excellently and creates both an electrifying and ecstatic feeling which really pumps the show into a new stage of engagement.

As the evening begins to enter its twilight stages the crowd are still all up on their feet and the main set ends with a terrific cover of Sigma’s ‘Changing’. With the crowd in uproar and demand for an encore bellowing around the room, Paloma returns with the renowned ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ which sheds one final colossal blow of emotional sound through the room, you can see all are coming away from tonight feeling incredibly entertained!

Paloma is the perfect example of what mainstream culture should be promoting, her level of talent is unquestionable and her music speaks volumes. It is brilliant to see her having so much fun performing these tracks and you can truly see how much each one means to her. When allowed to break into the huge ballad numbers, she is in her element and brings a sound which I know few other artists could compare to. It is this power which should be brought further into the mainstream and, in this respect, I truly think Paloma could represent a defining turning point in the world of pop music. A phenomenal night from start to finish.

Ben Walker