Paloma Faith is worried she has forgotten how to do her job. After 18 months of performance furlough, will the voice hold up, can she still entertain, will the playful stage persona flow?
She may have been newly shorn and wearing a sculptural leather gown she deemed wholly inappropriate for a mother of a six-month-old baby, but otherwise the old Paloma definitely showed up.
Following a warm-up comeback somewhere “in the south of our country”, Faith had returned to where the audiences roam free(ish).
Some were masked, some were sitting. Faith sought to do something about the latter, urging the fans to "act like tonight is the last night on earth because the moments are all we have".
Unfortunately the bland pop of The Last Night on Earth is not much of a party-starter but the gentle bopping began with the easy listening funk of Cry Baby, which brought out the personality in her voice, while the innate drama of Guilty gave her something to get her teeth onto.
By this point, her couture gloves were literally off and Faith was feeling more relaxed, hanging out with her band on a medley of older tracks, including the quirky handjive of Upside Down and a debut live outing for the Prince-approved Stargazer.
From here Faith alternated between her disposable dance pop hits (Picking Up the Pieces and Changing) and the fully funky likes of Just Can't Rely on You, complete with electro whizz-bang keyboard licks, and the classic disco party of I'm Every Woman,which she used to showcase her supercool female rhythm section.
This was a team effort with strong rapport between Faith and her musicians, and the audience as her additional backing vocalists.
Paloma Faith has not forgotten how to do her job; she just needs to hold fast to the songs which match her talent.
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions