Paloma Faith, Somerset House, London

4.00

 

"For all the people with wobbly bits, bingo wings, jelly, beer bellies, flab, and even liposuction where the fat deposits itself in weird places...we shake 'em together tonight." With that strange, joyful announcement, Paloma Faith turns her back to the crowd and hoists up her demure, ankle-length ball gown until it falls just underneath her bum and wiggles her alabaster legs, sending ripples across her pert behind.

This is the introduction to “Cellulite”, a celebration of pitted skin and fat bits, culminating in raucous drum beats that make the sound that wobbly flesh might make if it were held against a microphone. It hasn’t been released with the rest of her new album, Fall to Grace as Faith’s producer Nelee Hooper said it didn’t fit with the album because, as Faith puts it: “It’s kind of jolly and the rest was all miserable”.

Faith has no issue with switching from miserable to ecstatic in a heartbeat, though. She falls to her knees during a cover of Bettye LaVette’s “Let me Down Easy” and dances jubilantly, inviting fans to join her on stage for “Freedom” in clouds of wafting tinsel.

Over the song’s opening, soulful piano chords, she says: “Thank you for not making me work a nine-to-five job. It’s long hours but I feel free.” Somehow you can’t imagine Faith working a desk job.

She flits between poised Hollywood glamour and a sort of shuffling pantomime dame. You can imagine her as a marauding pirate, or as a sort of Nancy-from-Oliver figure, entertaining waifs and strays with her east-end chirpiness. But certainly not a desk job.

She has, in reality, worked as a magician’s assistant and a singer in a burlesque troupe, and her love of theatricality shines through. Hits “Do you Want the Truth or Something Beautiful,” a ballad full of soaring drama and potent symbolism and string-heavy hit “New York” receive ecstatic cheers from the audience, whose happiness is probably buoyed by a brief respite from the rain, and the rare chance to smoke during a gig.

She’s funny too, remarking on her early exit from her role as a mentor on television show The Voice UK. “When I was a kid and I didn’t fancy going to school my mum would say 'don’t worry about it', and I loved it! Don’t you wish you could have someone to tell you that now? 'You don’t fancy doing that TV show? Don’t worry about it, it’s only nine million people...'”

 

 

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power