Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Sunday Review - Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace Tour

Last week I had the privilege of attending Paloma Faith's York performance of her Fall to Grace tour, and it was absolutely amazing. It was so much more than just a concert because of the way that it put together music with lighting, setting, wardrobe and movement. It wasn't just music and it wasn't just theatre but it was certainly art. I'm going to start off by running through the basics of what happened in the show before evaluating it - not that I think I'm going to be able to find any flaws, so to speak.

To begin with, the support act Josephine really set it off with catchy tunes and quite simply an astonishing voice. She kind of reminded me of Tracy Chapman crossed with Heidi Herløw with a soothing and deep mellow tone but an incredibly wide and beautiful vibrato. I have to admit that I'd never heard of her before but since the concert I have practically had her album on repeat 24/7. She certainly has some amazing talent both vocally and instrumentally and has a very flattering dress sense as well as a brilliant stage presence. My only two slight criticisms were that some of her songs were a little repetitive for live performance - still brilliant, but I did find myself getting kind of lost in the meaning and forgetting as my attention span isn't really so good, and her bass player looked like he was really, really bored and didn't want to be there. Altogether though, I really enjoyed listening and would absolutely encourage you to go and buy Portrait, the album.
An image from my seat at the concert. Not the best quality in the world.

The next thing that happened was an unbearable break, as usually happens in gigs. It was that point when I felt very, incredibly lucky that I'd managed to get a seat instead of having to stand. That being said, though, standing certainly would have been worth it were I not sick.

When Paloma finally did enter the stage, she did so by coming through the centre of the curtains and honest to the Lord, I have no idea how she did it in those shoes. Any other woman would have tripped over and fallen flat on her face, and that's without worrying about having two huge fans strapped to your arms. Nonetheless, there was no falling done by Paloma that evening which is probably due to the intense amount of practice that she has had over the years.

She entered to a mix of instrumental and her own voice talking about where she'd come from etc. and this was a recurrence throughout the whole show, just with different words, obviously. A spotlight focused in and it was just her in front of the curtain as she began to sing and wave her fans around in a very artistic manner. A few further songs were done like this before the curtain pulled back to reveal the musicians behind her, at which point the continuous flow of songs did still not stop for a while. I loved these transitions where she would finish the song, the lights would go off and then come back on after she had taken a sip of drink to stop her throat from drying because it made it clear that this wasn't just a concert where musicians frequently do that, but more like theatre where you would never see the actors take a break. It just made the performance somehow more captivating and special. Her final song ended with what appeared to be petals falling from the ceiling, a truly sophisticated and beautiful touch.

The songs that she performed were obviously all from her 'Fall to Grace' album, but she also had a small section in the middle where she performed her most famous songs from her previous one,'Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful?' The mix proved nice, as did the contrast of the set because it wasn't all the same.

Paloma is undoubtedly one of the funniest artists around at the minute. She seems to be willing to make a complete fool of herself in the name of art and because of that she can completely get away with it. Some of the things she said were absolutely priceless, and her opening line was 'I'm not talking too much because I get carried away, and I ruin it all by talking. People just think: Get back to the Queen Vic!'. No Paloma, you do not ruin it at all, and please, come and perform for us again.

Outfit. Well, this is probably a big one here, prepare yourself. If you would like to see what she was wearing,  click here, but if you're happy with a description, well, she was wearing a red/pink (It's hard to tell under stage lights) and white striped maxi skirt, a white camisole and some bright pink/red shoes which I reckon could probably be from as she's said before that they are her signature shoes, along with the most enormous pink feathers on her head. I have to say, not many could rock that look without looking odd but she certainly did - even if she admitted that it was uncomfortable.

Onto my scoring. (Marks out of 10)

Support Act: 9
Music: 10
Transitions: 10
Lighting: 8
Pyrotechnics: 10
Fan service: 11
Constume: 10
Total: 67/70 (68)

If you ever get the opportunity to see Paloma live, I highly recommend it and I pray that she will come back to York someday.

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