Fun In The Sun Part Two

For me, one of the most important things when it comes to live music is that the artist is enjoying the performance as much as the audience. As Paloma Faith and her backing singers danced onto the stage at Westonbirt Arboretum for Forest Live it became instantly clear just how much we were all going to enjoy ourselves. She quickly counted her band in for an explosive opening performance of “Take Me”, setting the scene for a dance filled evening under the summer sky. Westonbirt was a glorious venue for a concert, with Liam Bailey using reggae and soul influences to get everything underway.

Paloma Faith’s vocal talents were simply dazzling on the live stage; with her full band behind there was probably enough power to keep the whole of Gloucestershire shaking all summer. The main sounds of the night were her jazz, funk & soul flavoured tracks but Faith showed her versatility with a couple of surprises. Her cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” allowed the band to go crazy with an out and out rock performance, preceded by the intriguing promise of an album with a radically different sound to come next year. Faith was incredibly warm and funny throughout the set; poking fun at herself for mistakes made on stage that night, and really having a laugh with the band mates with whom she clearly loved performing.

Benjy Rider

Paloma and her band rocking out Westonbirt

Paloma Faith at Westonbirt | Benjy Rider

Funk, Soul, Rock and more

The closing song of the main set was “Trouble With My Baby”, which ended with Faith stood atop the grand piano as each of the band members got a chance to show off their musical talent. An encore kicked off with the automatic bop initiating “Can’t Rely on You” before things slowed down for the ballad “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”. It was this song that showed off Faith’s vocals to their fullest; with raw emotion and power soaring to a high point. The night ended in beautiful chaos, with an energetic performance of “Changing”, with the band more than filling in for Sigma.

The crowd was made up of an intriguing mix of people; some coming equipped with tweed jackets folding chairs and cheese boards – others with converse, grass stains and sandwiches. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a wonderful mix of people at a concert, with all being united by a love of music and the summer sun.

Forest Live continues at venues across the country until mid July, with other artists including Robert Plant and Spandau Ballet.