In case you weren’t aware, Paloma Faith has recently come to town to finish up her worldwide Autumn tour promoting her third album ‘A Perfect Contradiction’.
She might be most well known here for the stellar ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’, which seemed to be synched with every single Australian TV drama last year, but she proved to all at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre that she is far more than just another sultry balladeer.
She kicked things off with the British number one ‘Changing’, which had people swaying wildly in their seats like they were at a gospel church.
Paloma and her six-piece band were consummate professionals, creating a lively atmosphere despite having just come off a 17 hour flight from America. Paloma, in particular, was in fine form, producing luscious studio-quality vocals that didn’t even hint at potential jetlag.
An unexpected bonus to proceedings was her stage banter. She was bloody hilarious at times, telling the crowd cheekily that “just because you have a seat doesn’t mean you have to use it” amongst other funny quips.
This was backed up by many show stopping moments, such as when she hits that note in ‘Leave Whilst I’m Not Looking’ before literally fading into the background.
We also found new love for songs like ‘Beauty Remains’ and ‘Ready For The Good Life’, despite both being ignored by local radio.
She really got the crowd going with ‘Impossible Heart’, an album track from ‘A Perfect Contradiction’. The irresistible 1980s disco influenced track got the entire audience on its feet as Paloma confidently strutted through the theatre.
She then capitalised on this response by jumping straight into an enthusiastic cover of ‘Proud Mary’, hinting at delving further into the gospel direction in the future.
This was contrasted wonderfully by her performance of 2012 hit ‘Picking Up The Pieces’. Whilst it certainly hasn’t aged badly, its inclusion further proved how much Paloma has grown as an artist in just a few short years.
Following another hilarious moment, where Paloma got confused and didn’t realise that was the end of the main set, she came back to do ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’. It was as glorious as one would expect, but to our surprise, it wasn’t the absolute highlight of the show.
That’s because Paloma had been so consistent throughout her 80 minute show that it felt like just a snippet of what she could do, rather than her sole contribution to musical culture (as local radio might have you believe).
She ended the show with the Pharrell written ‘Can’t Rely On You’ the call and response section of which was a nice way to end proceedings.
Ultimately, and perhaps controversially, we’d suggest that the show was more successful in selling Paloma Faith the performer rather than the album. She won over the crowd with her down to earth persona, which proved a beautiful contrast to her soulful hooks and melodies.
Perhaps the two might not have been a ‘Perfect Contradiction’ but we definitely had a great time.
So much so that when we got home, we took another listen to ‘A Perfect Contradiction’, rediscovering songs we hadn’t loved the first time such as ‘Impossible Heart’.
If that’s not an indicator of a successful concert then we’re not sure what is!
Catch Paloma playing live as part of her Australian tour;
May 08 : Brisbane (QPAC Concert Hall)
May 10 : Sydney (Opera House)
May 12 : Sydney (State Theatre)
May 14 : Adelaide (AEC Theatre)
May 16 : Perth (Concert Hall)