Paloma Faith with The Guy Barker Orchestra at the Barbican
For the third time, Faith and Guy Barker combined their individually thrilling forces to create a show on Thursday night that brought the Barbican to life. Symphonic Grace was characteristically flamboyant and extravagant, with confetti showering during the encore as Faith belted out a heartfelt rendition of Picking Up the Pieces. She bantered casually with the audience, requesting that the lights be shone on the stalls at one point so she could welcome everyone properly.
Her cabaret past came across to full, theatrical effect with 42 world-class musicians on stage, Barker conducting with a mischievous bounce in his step and filling the packed room with his distinctive trumpet melodies. Ben Castle played his heart out with a beautiful clarinet solo, and Faith’s backing vocalists came on-stage to deliver passionate individual covers of Preacher Man and Natural Woman before the interlude.
In a homage to her inspirations, Faith covered several classic songs during her performance. An excitedly received version of Let Me Down Easy saw her fall to her knees and move as though she was part of the music – it was most certainly Paloma herself who the audiences loved “all night long”. Her original songs were slightly overshadowed by her fervent drive to give everybody on the stage their own moment, but she was shamelessly unafraid to insist the audience “chair-danced” to get her heartfelt Blood, Sweat and Tears recorded perfectly for her first filmed tour.
The audience was on their feet by the end of her set – not a pair of hands stilled until Faith returned to the stage. She was completely at home for the entire concert, and seemed more comfortable in this more intimate environment than at a bigger show, clearly utterly in her element.
For further information and future events visit Paloma Faith’s website here.
Watch the video for Picking Up the Pieces here: