Gig review: Paloma Faith, Edinburgh

Well-executed and rapturously-received. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Well-executed and rapturously-received. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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“I like my life at the moment,” ventured Paloma Faith towards the end of her set here, confirming a sense of positivity that had persisted throughout. “I’m a bit up and down at the moment, I’ve been through every emotion imaginable today, but I’m feeling quite happy right now.”

Paloma Faith with Guy Barker Orchestra - Usher Hall, Edinburgh

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Whatever might be on her mind, the hope is that the affirmation of a show that was as well-executed and rapturously-received as this one might surely help ease her mind. In which case, the Hackney-born singer owes trumpeter, composer and bandleader Guy Barker a debt. For a woman with such a potentially explosive voice as Faith, who stalked the stage, she came very close to being upstaged by the sheer power and quality of Barker’s dozens-strong orchestra of brass and strings. Many might feel that Faith’s music bears a saccharine contemporary pop feel, regardless of her great talent as a singer, but Barker’s interpretations were broad-ranging and highly impressive.

Styles covered most pleasingly included the sweeping classic disco string orchestration of Blood Sweat and Tears, Upside Down’s big band-style stabbing brass, and the tickertape-assisted house thump of Picking Up the Pieces.