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Paloma Faith - Leeds Arena
Graham Clark, Features Writer
There has been a lot happening in Paloma Faith's life since she last toured, with motherhood being the biggest change. On her return to the live scene she has chosen to play arenas, where in the past she has played medium sized venues.

When her fourth album, The Architect was released last November it became her first UK album to go to Number 1, so it comes as no surprise to see that the demand is there for her to sell out large arenas like tonight's venue.

It is the first night of the tour and on a gig of this scale understandably it takes her a few songs to get into her stride.

The new album finds her expressing her social observations and the songs are more about what is going on in the world rather than singing about love. She rises from the back of the stage, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, wearing a fetching red all in one that comes with a cape.

Also by Graham Clark...
Billy Idol, Manchester Apollo
Lionel Richie, Scarborough Open Air Theatre
Review Of Blue And Steps, Keep Moat Stadium, Doncaster
The Play That Goes Wrong - Interview With Bobby Hirston
Let's Rock Leeds! - The Retro Festival
The stage set, in keeping with her new found social aspect, looks futuristic, her 8 piece band all on different tiers are all dressed in white. It looks like an effort has been made.

The title track of the album opens the set followed by what is probably her best single to date, Cry Baby. The track was a big airplay hit last autumn but the song never seemed to resonate with the people who put tracks into the singles chart.

By the time we get to Guilty, the third song in, she ditches her red cape and finally speaks to the audience, "I've been getting tweets today saying I should cancel the gig'" she comments, regarding the recent wintery weather. "But I am so glad that you could make it".

On My Body, a track about her pregnancy, her 3 backing singers come down to the front of the stage to join her, it works well.

Her down to earth approach, openness and saying what she thinks seems even more genuine when she declares herself "an honorary northerner". There doesn't seem to be any diva aspects about her as she walks through the audience and gives a note perfect version of Picking Up The Pieces.

By the time she gets to Surrender she seems more relaxed and has totally loosened up on new single Til I'm Done.

The Sigma track she sang lead vocals on, Changing sees the band and herself in dance mode. It's not long before she is back for the encore with a heart felt rendition of Only Love Can Hurt Like This.

Concluding with Love Me As I Am, it is an apt title for an artist who made it feel like she was talking just to you, making Leeds Arena feel like a more intimate venue. As the fans walked out into the cold winters night her warm personality had given everyone a warm glow. A resounding success.

Paloma Faith - Leeds Arena, 3rd March 2018, 11:25 AM