Music review: Paloma Faith at Edinburgh Summer Sessions

Paloma Faith at the Ross Bandstand last night. Picture: Ian GeorgesonPaloma Faith at the Ross Bandstand last night. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Paloma Faith at the Ross Bandstand last night. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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For the second time during these Edinburgh Summer Sessions, a performer returns to the stage after a few cancelled gigs, in this case laryngitis having laid low the mighty vocal chords of Paloma Faith. Welcome back.

Star rating: 5 out of 7 stars

She’s been touring her fourth album, “The Architect” on and off this year and the set relies heavily on this, kicking off with the Sam L Jackson narrated intro, then straight into the title track and then ripping through a handful of songs before having a breather to say hi.

An amusing, and not wholly inaccurate attempt at a Scottish accent has her confess to loving being up here, telling us she gets happier the further north she gets and the well known altruist gives credit to Edinburgh folks who, she feels, pride themselves on kindness rather than see it as something that only comes out on charity days.

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Paloma Faith. Picture: Ian GeorgesonPaloma Faith. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Paloma Faith. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The John Legend collaboration I’ll Be Gentle, from the album is, she explains performed without him as he “couldn’t get a babysitter” however, the guitarist fills those rather large shoes with aplomb. The energy is ramped up a bit with what she states is her favourite cut in Still Around.

Tonight’s Not The Only Night lasted about 30 seconds before she stopped it as she’d forgotten the lines, much to the amusement of the crowd and much of the band for that matter. But like the pro she is, a perfect recovery ensued.

She’s not a fan of stars plugging products but confesses to being lured by a car company to do a cover of the Mamas and the Papas’ Make Your Own Kind Of Music and what a version it is. Mama Cass would love it.

A quick “summer anthem” in Lullaby and before the last song, a heartfelt dedication. Paloma telling us they’re doing an extra song tonight in honour of the sadly departed Aretha Franklin. Well, (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman pretty much brought the place down and if the Tattoo organisers want to complain about the noise, let them. Not a dry in the house, or in my head.

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Paloma Faith crowd. Picture: Ian GeorgesonPaloma Faith crowd. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Paloma Faith crowd. Picture: Ian Georgeson

She closed proceedings with her biggest hit, 2014’s Only Love Can Hurt Like This prompting the inevitable phone light swarm and then in a flurry of yellow she and the band were gone. Aretha may have stolen the show but somehow I don’t think Paloma would begrudge her.

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