Live Reviews Music

Paloma Faith @ Motorpoint Arena Cardiff- Live Review (18/10/21)

Words by Rowan Davies

I just wanted to give a pleasant reminder that we did once used to be saner than we are now’; Paloma Faith addresses her crowd as she takes to the stage for her Cardiff gig, a delightful conclusion to a gloomy Monday in October and a refreshing way to start the week.

When we were offered the opportunity to attend Paloma Faith’s Cardiff show here at Quench Music, I simply couldn’t have said no. With a two-pinter Somersby in one hand and phone, camera ready, in the other, I was ready for some Paloma. Beginning the set with ‘Last Night on Earth’, Ms. Faith perfectly created an atmosphere that commanded the crowd’s attention, all doing nothing more than simply standing centre stage letting out her glorious distinct vocals. Not since I saw Adele at Wembley in 2017 have I attended a concert where the artist has been so unapologetically themselves. I thought this to myself when Paloma took her time to share personal anecdotes during her time writing and releasing her latest work Infinite Things, maintaining a satisfying balance between performance and audience connection; ‘I don’t know if anyone else has gone mad since the lockdown lifted, but I have’, the crowd cheering in agreement.

Following a sequence of classics from ‘Crybaby’, ‘Guilty’, and ‘Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?’ Paloma took a moment to prepare the audience for some sing-alongs, ordering us to stay standing for the remainder of the show- and stand we did. Without any rest in between, powerhouse Paloma went straight into an upbeat four-song medley of ‘Stone Cold Sober’, ‘Stargazer’, ‘30 Minute Love Affair’ and ‘Upside Down’, before bringing the tempo down a touch for her ballad ‘Picking Up the Pieces’. Just when I thought the night couldn’t get better, the band proceeded to play the intro beat to ‘Can’t Rely on You’, a personal favourite, and a huge nostalgic wave hit me as I was taken back to my days at school where I had her album A Perfect Contradiction on constant repeat.

Paloma took to the audience once more to share another anecdote, this one depicting a rather comedic encounter with Chaka Khan whom she deemed as one of her biggest influences, and the time where she was forced on-stage with Ms. Khan to sing a song she didn’t know; the audience roaring with laughter. However, she used the show as the perfect opportunity to redeem herself as she went into a gaudy cover of ‘I’m Every Woman’, using every inch of the stage and interacting with each band member and backing singer to throw a fabulous on-stage celebration. It was this part of the evening when the audience responded with nothing but lovable cheers, to which Paloma absolutely revelled in- hinting that an encore was in its midst.

Leaving the stage for a brief moment, Paloma returned to the stage for a three-track encore of her songs ‘Better Than This’, ‘Lullaby’, and finishing the evening with ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’, summoning hundreds of torch lights spread across the arena. For my post-lockdown gig return, I could not have wished for it any other way. Paloma put on a truly reassuring and entertaining performance, bringing light to the hardships and times of difficulty that had taken over our world during a time where live music was completely absent; and we desperately needed it.