Archive for the ‘Paloma Faith’ Tag

March.

I know you've probably seen this before. But it was a highlight of March.

As it’s the end of the month and I can’t be bothered to write anything good, I thought you might enjoy an insight into the goings on within my mundane little life. Let me begin with a cliché: this month has flown by. I’ve actually done quite a bit this month come to think of it, but in about six hours it shall be over.

March was a month of busy Thursdays. First up was the Lisa Mitchell gig that was very much enjoyed. The following week I was out with the father at La Dolce Vita (which was rather lame), however it was followed by the most amazing rib of beef at Bouchon Breton so all is forgiven.

The next week brought with it my sister’s 16th which was celebrated with a family meal in… Shoreditch. I’ve never heard of anyone going on a family outing to Shoreditch, but we did. And it resulted in a delicious meal at Beach Blanket Babylon. Their duck, mash and green beans were amazing. I’m not always a huge advocate of duck when it’s not Peking. I’ve been fortunate enough to try some of the most amazing Peking Duck in Hong Kong and I often find the breast itself too bland without being cooked this way. This was not the case with the offering of BBB which was succulent and generously surrounded by a hoisin sauce, providing me with the hint of the Chinese flavour that I love so much.

This brings us to last week where I had two exciting events. Tuesday was the day of Paloma Faith’s gig at the Corn Exchange, whilst Thursday was the highlight of my life so far the Bran Nue Dae screening. Both were very pleasant though it was obviously the latter that brought me more excitement.

What else have I learnt this month? Well, I learnt that I like jewellery. If you were a part of the 200+ page views that I got over Sunday and Monday then I’m sure you’re already aware of this. I passed my driving test this month and can finally drive Kylie (Yes, my car has a name linked to my love of Neighbours. Get over it.) without those L Plates drawing attention to my regular failed parking attempts.

As for April? Well I’ve got tickets to two gigs already – starting with Amy Macdonald this Tuesday thanks to teentoday.co.uk. Then towards the end of the month I finally get to see Nerina Pallot again after a three year hiatus (last time resulted in me missing the last train home from Tottenham Hale!) I’ve got two days at Channel 4 as part of Inspiration Week in the holidays which I’m really looking forward to and shall inevitably use as an opportunity to network and promote my blog/Teen Today. Oh, and Venice next Thursday for a few nights en famille before I return to school for that dreaded French Oral. But let’s not spend any more time dwelling on that…. Tell me, how’s your March been?! (That means comment. I don’t bite. Promise.)

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Paloma Faith at Cambridge Corn Exchange

Who can wear a yellow jump suit? Hang on, let me rephrase that… Who can wear a yellow jumpsuit and pull it off? (First in a metaphorical manner, though later it must have been quite literally pulled off.)

As she walked onto the stage, with large pink feathers hiding her face, Paloma Faith immediately had a strong stage presence. Her hair a little crazy and wearing sunglasses that might more commonly be modelled by a six year old, it didn’t take long to realise that Paloma dresses like this because she wants to. Whilst she might not be as out there as Gaga, her outfits – yes plural – managed to create a stir amongst the audience.

Prior to her arrival on stage, the audience were awakened by the musical activity of La Shark. I have to credit them as providing me with the most enthusiastic performance I’ve ever witnessed; Jumping off amps and encouraging the audience to jog on the spot throughout a song of theirs proved to be all too entertaining. Oh, and if that’s not enough, they also sang a song in French. Which astounded me given my current relationship with the language from across the channel (I like to think we share a mutual hatred.) Musically, they weren’t exactly to my taste, but as live performers I genuinely enjoyed their set.

Opening with Smoke and Mirrors, the stage had been made to look like a 1920’s room complete with, you guessed it: smoke and mirrors. As the evening progressed, Paloma sang through nearly all the tracks from her album, as well as her own personal homage to Billie Holiday (who was a total unknown to me) and a cover of a song I’d never heard of The Beatles.

Instead of singing the album version of Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? a remix version was performed. It was more electronic than the original and allowed for Paloma’s very smiley guitarist to perform an impressive solo as she made her way behind the central mirror for a costume change. Arriving back on stage in a dress embellished with shards of mirrors and a beret, Paloma blended into the set design perfectly. Her ability to wear obscure fashion, left me bewildered as I stood in my jeans, plain top and Primark leather jacket.

Other highlights of the show included her latest single Upside Down, my personal favourite Stone Cold Sober and a performance of Romance Is Dead in which a middle aged guy from the audience was dragged up on stage to be serenaded by Paloma.

To end the show, she burst into New York. However this was not the same song that she’d got into the charts with. Oh no, this was the “Start spreading the news / we’re leaving today” version. Of course, this only lasted for a verse or so before the familiar beat of the Paloma-penned track could be heard and, almost faultlessly, the song changed from one to the other.

One thing was, however, missing from her performance. After her first two songs, she produced some sheets of paper and took them over to her guitarist to read for her. “I’m sorry but I’ve lost my voice and so my band will be speaking for me” he declared.  I missed the banter, anecdotes and jokes that so often make a good show great. There were times when Paloma broke her vow of silence to apologise once more for her dying voice (she even tweeted her apologies after the show), yet I can understand that she needed to savour it for her performances. She appeared to hit all the right notes despite the strain that must have been weighing heavily on her voice.

Paloma Faith – Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?

The version of Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? that I downloaded comes with two live video performances. Her two biggest hits, New York and Stone Cold Sober can each be seen in recordings from a gig at London’s ICA. Paloma Faith’s presence in the videos is very obvious; she appears to be an intriguing character with tremendous talent. At the beginning of the New York video you see Paloma carefully moving miniature chairs across the stage. The purpose of this? Well, apparently there was not one as she quite quickly jumps off of them and burst into the first line of the song. I only had to hear the title of Stone Cold Sober to know that this song would speak true of my life. “You think I’m hazy/a little bit crazy/but I’m stone cold sober”. As a non-drinker who manages to act stupid at parties and who, on occasion, been asked how she felt the morning after a sober night, I know that an alcohol-free night can still lead to craziness.

Her three singles, the two aforementioned along with the title’s namesake, made Paloma a household name. However she remains notably absent from this year’s Brits nominations. I feel a little disappointed for Paloma as DYWTTOSB? is a really impressive album that is more than deserving of a nomination.

Tracks such as Romance Is Dead and Broken Doll immediately sold me to become a fan. I’ll be the first to admit, that upon seeing Paloma’s appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks I was a little suspect about her being ‘yet another Winehouse wannabe’. These tracks have proven me wrong. Paloma has her own sound and her own songs that need no comparisons to be made.

Romance Is Dead sings true of the sordid state of relationships in today’s world. Pre-wrote birthday cards and email communication suggest that the death of romance is actually a lot more real than you might think. With the over-commercialised Valentines Day approaching, I reckon guys should take note of these lyrics and prove that there are still some original, thoughtful men out there.

“I’m a broken doll/You’re the puppeteer” are the opening lines of Broken Doll. It’s a song that’s, perhaps, been written about wanting control in a relationship. She sings of being “scared of shadows in the night” and similar clichés about nightmares and loneliness. For someone so anti-cliché in Romance Is Dead I find it interesting to hear her take on dreams of romance in a different way.

Softer vocals are used by Paloma in Stargazer and Press Lightly showing that Paloma isn’t a one trick horse, whilst the opening of Upside Down sounds almost as though the music has been taken from an old black and white movie. And in Play On you’re greeted with a solemn violin introduction before the vocals kick in. Various instruments are used throughout the album making each song different from the previous.

Smoke & Mirrors and My Legs Are Weak are both catchy but fit in as ‘album tracks’ more so than other songs which I see as having a lot more potential.

All in all, I really like this album. I wouldn’t go so far to say I love it. But I certainly enjoy listening to it again and again. Clearly I am a fan, as I’ve now got tickets to see her in Cambridge on March 23rd. Stay tuned for a review.