Gig review: Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds

Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff
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Paloma Faith has never been the type of star that can blend into the background.

Even her guest slot in St Trinians required the most make-up and outrageous character personality in the film, which was up against some pretty strong contenders.

Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

The 36-year-old singer’s return to Leeds on Friday night kicked off her nationwide tour, and she was appropriately attired to suit the occasion and her persona. Clad in a dazzling pink sequinned jumpsuit – complete with cape – she sparkled onto the stage and received a warm welcome from an audience that greeted her like an old friend.

No doubt still riding high after the success of her latest album, The Architect, which reached No.1, she was keen to pack the set with as many new tracks as possible. Beginning with the title track from the new LP, the audience were quick to warm to her. This was followed by two more tracks from the latest release, including the hit single Crybaby, which proved to be a real audience favourite.

Her between-song banter was equally endearing, as Faith commented that her mum was worried she would offend people and nobody would pay to see her again.

The evening was accompanied by the odd political dig, with the opening line of WW3 being dedicated to Donald Trump. Slightly tongue-in-cheek, she said: “Please dance, even if you don’t agree with me.” The crowd was happy to oblige.

Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

Paloma Faith at First Direct Arena, Leeds. Picture: Anthony Longstaff

So, with a cheeky smile – not a forced laugh, as was caught on camera at last week’s BRIT awards when she narrowly lost out on the Best Female Artist award – she poured out endless charisma and energy throughout her 19-song set.

Perfect pop fun.