Thousands of people attended a sold-out performance by Brit award nominated Paloma Faith as part of the Forestry Commission’s ‘Forest Live’ summer concerts.
Support was provided by singer/violinist Marques Toliver who’s rich soulful voice provided the perfect start to the evening.
Paloma Faith then took to the stage wearing a colourful, quirky, neon outfit with an equally colourful beaming smile on her face ready to greet her fans. This was a welcome contrast to the dull grey skies above.
The stage was styled to look like a bright 1930s Hollywood musical set with band members cleverly placed so that you could watch every member perform.
Opening with ‘Agony’ from her most recent album ‘Fall to Grace’ and continuing with ‘30 minute love affair’ she had the audience in the palm of her hands from the very start. INXS classic ‘Never Tear us Apart’ was a powerful and moving performance which had everybody singing along.
Paloma’s three backing singers were incredible and their combined power sounded more like an entire gospel choir.
Paloma asked for an umbrella to protect her hair from the rain and joked that it was because of the pictures that might end up on Instagram. She then went on to perform ‘I can’t stand the rain’. A very fitting cover considering the evening’s weather.
Paloma was joined on stage by Marques Toliver to perform a beautiful rendition of ‘I’d rather go blind’, which was a tribute to Etta James who had inspired her musical career.
Paloma said “People assume I’m thick”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Paloma is intelligent, hugely talented and has one of the most charming personalities of anyone we’ve seen. As joked by Paloma, it would be easy to assume on face value that she is style over substance, but it is clear to anyone who has witnessed her perform live that this is not the case.
You get the impression that there is a lot more to come from Paloma, her passion for music and her love of performing is infectious and you can’t help feeling that you’ve been privileged to experience seeing her perform. Especially somewhere as beautiful as Westonbirt Arboretum, which provided the perfect setting and created a relaxing atmosphere.
Photo credit: Scott Wilson