Paloma Faith brings something beautiful to The HexagonBy Becky Barnes
February 14, 2013
Even though Paloma Faith is a petite performer, I didn’t think an interview with her would involve putting her in my pocket.
But when I have to get off a train half way through our conversation I end up uttering the unexpected words: “Sorry Paloma, I’m just going to have to pop you in my pocket for a second.”
The softly-spoken star is waiting patiently when I kneel on the platform of Clapham Junction to continue our phone chat ahead of her Reading date this weekend.
“I’m feeling a bit the worse for wear,” she says. She’s just played London, bang in the middle of a 19-date tour. “I usually play London at the end of my tour and I love it because I can see all my friends.”
The Hackney-born singer has been touring since January 28, and will play her penultimate show at The Hexagon on Saturday night.
“The show is dreamy and cinematic – it’s a mixture of old and new songs,” she explains, referring to her two platinum albums, the old, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? and, the new, Fall to Grace. The 27-year-old says the show will include a plethora of her signature stylish outfits, with cabaret elements too. And the highlight for Paloma is watching the crowd sing along to the songs she has written.
“My favourite is Picking up the Pieces, but Just Be as well because it is so stripped back,” she says. “I think everybody should just come along and have fun.”
Hailed by the critics as the album’s ‘crown jewel’, Just Be is supposed to be ‘a realistic love song for real lovers’, says Paloma.
“It’s saying ‘he gets on my nerves, but I love him’. I find that more endearing than ‘there’s no one out there but him’. That seems naive. I have a lot of admiration for people who have been in relationships a long time, married for years. This is a more knowing take on romance.”
The red-headed style icon goes on to tell me how she felt when she found out she had been nominated for not one but two Brits this year.
“It’s a real honour,” she says. “But I don’t think I am going to win – it doesn’t really feel real.”
Nominated for Best Female Solo Artist and British Album of The Year at the awards, which take place next Wednesday, the singer reveals she would prefer to be recognised for her album, if she had to choose, and puts her money on Emeli Sandé winning best female.
“I like Emeli Sandé but right now I am listening to Jake Bugg and my support act Josephine Oniyama – they are so inspiring,” she adds.
At this point, it strikes me how sweetly spoken, down-to-earth and shy Paloma is, despite her soulful and showy performances. I question this and she replies: “Every extrovert is secretly a shy person.”
Not only does Paloma write beautiful songs, perform them and get nominated for awards, she is also keen to support campaigns and charities, which includes being the face of Comic Relief 2013 pyjama day on March 13.
And in May last year she recorded a video for the Out4Marriage campaign, a group supporting the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales.
“I was proud to back the campaign,” she says.
“But although I am happy the same-sex marriage bill was passed last week, it should never have been an issue. Everyone should be allowed to marry whoever they want to.”
As our chat comes to a close I ask Paloma what she wants to achieve in 2013. She says, for her, this year is about completing a third album, although she hasn’t started it yet and nor will she give anything away about what it will be about.
And so the kooky artist will perform to a sold-out venue on Saturday night in a show which promises to be accompanied by visual imagery and plenty of sparkle.
“A lot of people write songs because they want to record them in a studio, they want to put their feelings out there,” she says. “I don’t write songs for that reason, I write songs so I can perform them.”