Dotty pop diva, and otherwise former burlesque dancer, Paloma Faith channeled a steam-punk Shirley Bassey at a show veering from the intimate to the euphoric at The Brighton Centre.
Wearing a mermaid dress recalling a Pink-Flamingo-era Divine and with her usually coiffed barnet tousled into a coppery bush, Paloma kicked things off with the mildly epic When You’re Gone, its pompous grandiosity heightened to operatic proportions with the brandishing of a plumage of metallic feathers, which served as a contrast to the otherwise bare bones of her 1920s flapper appearance.
Curtains drew back to reveal a jagged ice palace, upon which the orchestra and band were perched to run through a selection pulled from 2009’s Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? to last year’s break-through album, Fall to Grace.
Like Jessica Rabbit on heat, Faith moulded the casual fan like putty with her throbbing Bond-esque rendition of Never Tear Us Apart, a Christmas-time hit cover of the INXS song, which was tremulous before sizzling into a thundering chorus.
30 Minute Love Affair, an electro ditty telling the story of Faith’s meeting with a busker, falling a little in love, but then never seeing him again, harked back to Annie Lennox, its initial icy verses belying its grimy synth undertones.
Whilst a large venue, the chanteuse succeeded in delivering an intimate set, straddling the piano with pizzazz, which was contrasted by drinking tea from fine china prior to running through her repertoire of slinky ballads.
For long-time fans, the debut album was touched upon in a suite; the manic energy of Stone Cold Sober proceeded the stroppy New York, a song blaming the Big Apple for having stolen her man, which was followed by the whimsical honesty of the lush, orchestral Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?
Repartee was casual; she wouldn’t be signing autographs after the show, preferring instead to save her voice for the up-coming dates. Nevertheless, to appease those hungry fans, she flailed an iPhone to record the appreciation of her sole top 10 hit, Picking Up The Pieces, which was glorious in its wild abandon and was sheer sing-along-a-Paloma.
The dream-scape she had woven burst into a cloud of blue glitter for the finale, a subdued Black & Blue, which culminated in an appreciative curtain call, with hand-fulls of glitter serving as tasty morsels for her wanton fans.
For future tour dates, view: www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Paloma-Faith-tickets/artist/73203