One can always rely on Paloma Faith to deliver a fantastic show – and last night’s gig at Aberdeen’s Music Hall was no exception.
Piercing screams and roars of applause welcomed the English superstar as she took to the stage to kick off her The Age Of Optimism Summer 2022 tour.
Known for her powerhouse vocals and strong stage presence, the talented singer also enjoyed a dramatic entrance. Fans were only able to see large-scale shadows of Paloma and her band before the curtain dropped and the singer greeted her north-east fans.
And it was pure “Gold” – not just the dramatic entrance, but also the first song of the night and the stunning metallic dress that she rocked.
Constantly reinventing her sound, Paloma performed a string of songs from her newest studio album Infinite Things which was released back in 2020. And while it was clear that not many people were familiarised with the newer tunes, it’s always great to see an artist showcasing their range.
Paloma Faith delivers amazing show in Aberdeen
Those closely watching Paloma’s captivating performance of “Monster” would have noticed she blew a kiss to the heavens when singing “Bet you’ll miss me when I’m gone” – a touching tribute to her touring musical director and bandmate Kevin Banks who passed away a few days ago after a battle with a terminal illness.
The Aberdeen show also marked a new chapter for the band as this was the first time they performed without Kevin. But, as Paloma told her fans, he simply couldn’t be replaced so recordings of his past performances were mixed into the live show.
Every member of the band looked quite emotional – especially when they were performing songs from the newest album, many of which were dedicated to the late musician.
Paloma told her last night’s audience that she wanted to “celebrate life and each other” before revealing that she started feeling rather nostalgic during lockdown and she felt like singing some of her old soulful ballads she’s well known for.
Sitting on the piano, she sang Stone Cold Sober and she also performed some shortened versions of her classics, including Upside Down.
New songs, slow songs and classics
Getting ready to say goodbye to her “brilliant Aberdeen audience”, she told her fans that she was about to perform her last song, before quickly adding something along the lines of “Well, it’s obviously not going to be the last song, but we do it for the theatrics”.
But she also warned her Granite City fans that she was quite stubborn and if they were completely silent, she would seriously not be coming back – which would have been a shame because she left the best till last.
Kicking off the encore with Can’t Rely On You, she also performed Changing before delivering the song everyone’s been waiting on – her emotional ballad Only Love Can Hurt Like This.
The show was truly brilliant but I have to say I really wish it was a standing gig so fans could dance, wave their hands and truly feel Paloma’s powerful music.
During faster songs, many audience members were standing in their seats – which Paloma encouraged – but let’s be honest, you can only dance and move so much in your seat without irritating the stranger next to you.
Brilliant support act
Zak Abel, Paloma’s support act, also picked up on it, telling gig-goers this was the first time he performed in front of an audience “that’s sitting down and listening so patiently”.
While he is used to more rowdy crowds, the singer, who never performed in Scotland before, quickly won over Aberdeen music fans. English-Moroccan musician Zak – who has a stunning voice – delivered a short acoustic set as well as a few anecdotes.
He even received a small standing ovation himself. Well done.