Music review: Paloma Faith, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

Paloma Faith
Paloma Faith
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Given how outspoken she is on the issues of the day, it’s no big surprise that Paloma Faith has something to say about artists who sell themselves to commerce; about “Johnny Rotten pretending he likes butter” and so on. If she does it, it’s because the product means something to her – like the brand of car which she would have had “the living piss” taken out of her for owning at school, which she sees something of herself in. “I am a Skoda!” she declares triumphantly. “It does well enough and gets by, no matter what people say about it.”

Music review: Paloma Faith, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh ****

While it’s true that the sometime Voice judge feels in-with-the-bricks amid the current UK music industry, a well-travelled and dependable performer whose songs are more about poppy fun than innovation, hearing them all onstage at once emphasises the rich diversity of Faith’s career, and her growth as an entertainer of personable confidence. She was the stage’s greatest effect, visible from across the arena with pink hair and a vibrant yellow dress, and her committed, physical performance was lent the added sense of a party by three backing singers and dancers.

The set extended from the title track of her last, most expansive album, The Architect, to the recent hit Crybaby, to the joyous disco revivalism of ’Til I’m Done. Her songs were joyful and affirmative (Lullaby), catchy in their treatment of darker feelings (Changing, which she originally performed with Sigma) and in debt to those in the canon of great artists she’s working towards; namely, a gorgeous cover of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman in tribute to Aretha Franklin, with Faith’s own vocal proving powerfully soulful in its own right.

DAVID POLLOCK