Gallery: Review - Paloma Faith, Thetford Forest, July 4

Paloma Faith at Thetford Forest. Photo: Lee Blanchflower

Paloma Faith at Thetford Forest. Photo: Lee Blanchflower

Everytime I see Faith live, I’m left wanting more. Spectacular voice, super songs and you can’t take your eyes off her as she struts and dances across the stage.

More than 9,000 people turned out to see her; rising to their feet the moment she stepped out and staying on them the rest of the night. Her energy is that infectious.

She performed many of the songs from third album A Perfect Contradiction - her fastest selling record to date - including Only Love Can Hurt Like This, Can’t Rely On You and Ready for the Good Life to name a few.

The sweltering heat didn’t slow Faith or her exceptional band and backing singers down a bit. She was as delightfully wacky as usual, chatting away and fanning herself between numbers. There are no airs or graces, what you see is what you get and that’s a woman comfortable with who she is.

A particular highlight was her cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze, a song she’s been listening to a lot while writing her fourth album and a sign of the direction she’s taking her sound in - which bodes well.

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Urging us first to dance more, then to start making the world a better place by saying something nice to the person next us; the gig seemed to be over too soon.

Channelling the dark side of her St Trinian’s character Andrea - she stole every scene she was in then, too - Faith said if we wanted an encore we had to clap until our hands bled because that showed we meant it. She added if we didn’t want an encore that’d make her very sad.

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She needn’t have worried. Returning to rapturous applause, Faith managed to find yet another gear. Her performance of Changing, her collaboration with drum and bass duo Sigma which earned her her first number one, was sublime.

Support came from Liam Bailey, whose debut solo album Definitely NOW drops on July 10.

His first two EPs were released via Amy Winehouse’s label Lioness Records. Best known for co-writing and providing vocals for Chase and Status’ 2011 hit Blind Faith, the Nottingham singer-songwriter had a great voice - soulful, rocky, funky. Faith was spot on when she said he should’ve been around in the 1970s because he’d would’ve been huge.

It wasn’t really my cup of tea but Bailey - who has radio heavy hitters Zane Lowe, Fearne Cotton, Mistajam and Lauren Laverne in his corner - was the perfect choice to open the show. All in all, I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer evening.

Wayne Savage

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