Keeping the Faith


With an Epidemic of Kindness!

The best way I can describe the impact of Paloma’s arrival to her simple yet elaborate, perfectly contradictory, crystalized concert is to combine Jem and the Holograms with Barbarella, crash land them on a planet of crystal meth inhabited by the space-travelling descendants of The Supremes and throw in some political 20’s lounge singer for good measure. The eclectic mash-up of influences and eras perfectly reflects Paloma herself – kooky, a little bit spaced out and altogether charming and beguiling without any arrogance about it.

Her sequined Louboutin go-go boots and purple 60’s-cum-80’s space travel suit contrasted with her Eloi-blonde blunt-fringe hairdo gave everything a strange sense of nostalgia. That said, it was anything but reductive or done – the combinations of so many disparate themes, done with just the right amount of camp, made the whole show feel well thought out yet somehow not contrived.

Opening to an intimate crowd, a set-up of her own choosing, Faith started the night with Evolution, The Architect and Crybaby, where she quickly reminded us all of her vocal prowess. However, it was the personal touches that really made this night something worth attending; from recounting the recent birth of her child to the struggles of stardom she faced on taking that time off and questioning her job security/a return, to the political aspects of her uniquely Paloman mind, Faith’s genuineness and gentle, caring nature combined with a delightfully bizarre and naught sense of humour really shone through. At one point she introduces her concept of an “Epidemic of Kindness,” (something you can find out more about on her website), and her political opinion is definitely expressed in the dedication of “World War III” to a certain Mr. President, but her viewpoint is more gentle agenda than screaming vendetta. (Unlike my own, I have to admit.)

Summing up her personality and view point really can be described as something alien in this day and age, and I think she’s wholly aware of this, at one-point stating: “I come in peace.” She really did just want us to enjoy the music, however, and as such closed her initial set-list with some of her best bangers: "Lullaby", "Till I’m Done" and her brilliant feature track with Sigma "Changing". And yet…the encore was a little more subdued. Comprising Still Around, Only Love Can Hurt Like This, and, Love Me As I Am, ultimately upon leaving we were reminded that we had attended a poignant, political, and, above all, very personal performance.

Really, I could have done without the bad lip-syncing and over-the-top hand choreography. But that was the guy in front of me, draining my soul through my eyes and reminding me to add some salt to Faith’s unwavering sweetness. His concert etiquette was piss poor, but Faith was her usual, incredible self.

P.s Honourable mentions to a truly incredible drummer Gareth Brown, BB Bones for his wicked guitar solo and also to the support act Xamvolo for a chilled and cool vibe pre-show.

#palomafaith #SSEArenaBelfast #TheArchitect #CryBaby #OnlylovecanHurtlikethis

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