Brit singer finds believers on first-ever U.S. tour
“I’ve been wanting to get here for years, and I just want to tell you things.” And tell, joke, explain, narrate, preach Paloma Faith did. In a set that was just as much a concert as it was comedy, by the time the firey Brit’s set was over, she had the audience side splitting—from spontaneous dancing and overwhelming laughter.
True to form, Faith is like Marilyn Monroe meets Lucille Ball—and not just for that retro redhead factor; the Prince-adored singer has that very mysterious (what homie Simon Cowell might call X Factor), that just like her upcoming album title, lets her oh so easily Fall to Grace. Which is exactly what she did on this night, one of only six stops in the U.S. this fall, which made the event even more uniquely special. (In fact, Chicago’s Martyrs on a dusty fall night is the exact same scenario for how we first discovered Adele.)
“My bag always gets inspected in America and then they always ask me, ‘What are you bringing into the country, ma’am?’” she continued. “Glamour, boys!” Her sequin dress is a testament to that, which the self admitted ‘gay man trapped in a girls body’ kept very girl next door about; as she introduced one of her coy love songs, she remembered of her subject, “I don’t know about him taking my breath away but this corset sure is.”
If Faith remained humble in her first U.S. tour, perhaps it’s because the star—already a platinum-selling artist in the U.K. who, natch, carried the Olympic torch in the recent games–has to be. “I just played a gig in the U.K. to 40,000 people and then last night played a gig in Boston to 100,” she joked, reminding people quite well of the importance of these small boutique shows, which trust us, will never happen in the U.S. again. “You’re going to be the tastemakers, people!” Then she proceeded to call the audience Gremlins… in the nicest way possible.
Although as of now, only one of Faith’s singles (“Picking Up the Pieces”) is available on iTunes, this summit introduced her new November-slated album Fall to Grace to a very select crowd who marveled at the sheer epic quality of each modern pop song, intermingling Madonna’s bravado with Etta James’ gusto (the singer ended her set with a cover of “I’d Rather Go Blind”).
“I would like to congratulate you all on the music you produced before 1973,” she said, hinting at the retro trend so populated by Britain singers since Amy Winehouse. “It’s a case of you invent it and forget about it… and the Brits recreate it and sell it back to you.”
Barbs aside, Faith was a true professional through and through. The set was dimly lit, sparkling cabaret and Faith not only dressed for the occasion; she owned it. Introducing a song about freedom, she invited the audience to disrobe, makeout or at the very least, join her on stage, and they heeded her message turning the tiny wood-planked stage into a Soul Train dance party.
If Faith’s to-do list still includes “conquer America,” our U.K. sister is sure coming to a close on the mission.