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[Concert Review] Paloma Faith Live at Joe's Pub

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

[Concert Review] Paloma Faith Live at Joe's Pub

Paloma Faith Joes Pub 9-11
PHOTO CREDIT: Music Is My King Size Bed
My 3 plus year dream of seeing UK pop-soul chanteuse Paloma Faith finally came true earlier this month on September 11th, 2012 at Joe's Pub in New York City...and what a dream it was. I still can't believe it!  Paloma's performance, stage presence and costume far exceeded my expectations. Not only that, but she's a charmer.  Then again, if you've ever seen an interview with her, you would expect nothing less.

Already a respected and established musical talent in her native England, Paloma now has her heart set on making it here in America and while the American market is notoriously difficult to crack for foreign artists, the recent success stories of the late Amy Winehouse and Adele have certainly cracked open a window for up & coming talent like the 27 year old Hackney-born Faith.

The fact that she only has one single out in America right now (plus her whole first album - on iTunes) didn't stop Faith from delivering one Tour-de-Force performance after another, candidly chatting with the packed house in between numbers.  Dressed to the nines in a vintage-looking gold, glittery getup, Faith confidently took command of the relatively small stage, despite being limited to use of only half of her band.  First up was a stirring rendition of "Let Your Love Walk In," co-penned by Ed Harcourt, during which Faith actually touched my hand (and the hands of several people sitting right front of the stage). I died. Literally. Well...not literally. You get the idea. It was a surreal experience to say the least.

While Paloma did play pretty much play her latest album, Fall To Grace (due November 27th via Epic) there was a sprinkling of covers, including brilliant renditions of Bettye LaVette's 1965 STUNNER "Let Me Down Easy" (which actually does appear on Fall To Grace) and "I'd Rather Go Blind," originally performed by the flawless Etta James.  Faith also treated the audience to a lovely version of her second official UK single, "New York," which just seemed so right...considering she was performing her first public gig in the Big Apple. I felt privileged to be there, on 9/11, listening to her sing about this glorious city I've always fantasized about living in.

Paloma Faith Joes Pub 9-11
Paloma Faith Joes Pub 9-11
Paloma Faith Joes Pub 9-11
PHOTO CREDIT: Music Is My King Size Bed
One of favorite moments from Paloma's entirely too short 12-song set was when she sat down on the piano (ABOVE) to perform her version of a love song, "Just Be," which was originally scheduled to be the album's third official UK single following "30 Minute Love Affair."  This has ALWAYS been one of my favorites from Fall To Grace and her emotional live rendition did nothing but solidify that in my mind.  FLAWLESS.  Other stand out moments for me included a future dance hit (record label-permitting), "Blood, Sweat & Tears," a rousingly patriotic performance of her song "Freedom," a more stripped down version of her "club" track, "Agony," and of course "Picking Up The Pieces," which never gets old in my mind.  

All in all, Faith delivered in a big way.  I only hope that her label here in America treats her like the bonafied neo-soul diva that she really is and promotes her upcoming album properly.  A talent like Paloma Faith only comes once in a great long while and I'd hate to see America ignore her in favor of a lot of the crap that's playing on the radio today.  Anyway, check out this fantastic writeup on the show in The New York Times. At least the press seems to be eating her up here in the States too! She just received a flaw-free 6-page spread in BlackBook magazine!


"Let Your Love Walk In"
"30 Minute Love Affair"
"Agony"
"Let Me Down Easy" 
"New York"
"Black & Blue"
"Just Be"
"Freedom"
"Blood, Sweat & Tears"
"Picking Up The Pieces"

Encore:

Theme From New York, New York / "I'd Rather Go Blind"
"Streets of Glory"

Paloma Faith may have just finished her first U.S. tour, including a sold out show in Los Angeles, but I'm hoping she comes back again before the release of her debut album...at least to do some television promo here in the States. I'm not sure if that's possible, as her schedule back home in the UK is getting pretty hectic.  In addition to a UK tour this January, Faith just released a new single, a cover of INXS's 1988 hit "Never Tear Us Apart," on September 23rd, following it's featured spot in a new John Lewis advertising campaign (BELOW).  Not only that but Faith will be re-releasing a completely repackaged version of Fall To Grace, including this cover, on October 22nd (via RCA Records).

Paloma Faith
PHOTO CREDIT: Epic Records
Paloma Faith Never Tear Us Apart

The Nelle Hooper-produced Fall To Grace album has been tremendously successful in the UK, peaking at #2 following it's release back in May with lead single "Picking Up The Pieces" debuting at an impressive #7.  While follow up single, "30 Minute Love Affair" did less well, peaking at #50 on the Official Single Charts, her latest release, "Never Tear Us Apart" seems to be doing quite well.  According to the Mid Week Chart update, "Never Tear Us Apart" is sitting pretty at #13! Not too shabby! We'll have to wait until Sunday to see where it lands once and for all, but for right now - so far so good.

Americans, download "Picking Up The Pieces" (iTunes US/iTunes UK) now. Brits, make sure you snag both "30 Minute Love Affair" (iTunes UK) and "Never Tear Us Apart" (iTunes UK). Oh, and in case you missed it, check out my comprehensive review of Paloma Faith's album Fall To Grace, due out in America November 27th via Epic Records.


Check out Paloma Faith on the web:





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