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Paloma Faith, Bedgebury Pinetum review - positive pop in a woodland setting | reviews, news & interviews

Paloma Faith, Bedgebury Pinetum review - positive pop in a woodland setting

Paloma Faith, Bedgebury Pinetum review - positive pop in a woodland setting

A magical, festival-vibe gig in a beautiful forest glade

Sunset over Bedgebury Pinetum© Fraser Allen

There is a real festival ambience to this quintessentially English field-gig, set amidst the stunning forests of Bedgebury Pinetum as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert series. Groups of 40-something chino-clad daahhlings lay out their Joules picnic blankets and luxury camping chairs as visions of the local Waitrose being positively looted for champers and strawbs dance in my mind.

Paloma Faith pirouetting onto the stage in a bright yellow wig and rainbow dress is the perfect performance to match a stunning pink sunset, as she bursts forth with “Architect”, the first track on her new album of the same name. Rolling through tracks such as “Cry Baby” and asking revellers to put their hands together for “Guilty”, she warms up the crowd with Sia-sounding vocals that are surprisingly good live – something I’ll admit I’d not been expecting after listening to some of the singer’s more self-deprecating interviews.

Paloma Faith's fabulous forest gigOne thing I was expecting was Paloma’s chat. She is so personable, so fearless about expressing an opinion, and so enthused about issues like the environment and her Epidemic Of Kindness – an antidote to the current trend for expressing negative opinion. “My Body” sings about loving ourselves with all our flaws, with an excellent expressive dance rubbing round bellies and gesturing fluffy armpits, and it turns out “Kings and Queens” is about the inherent racism prevalent in the Met Police during the late Nineties. “WW3” is dedicated to Donald Trump, complete with ominous red lights as she sings “I’ve had enough, I’m calling you out”.

She talks about her return to the scene after a recent maternity leave – a reference met by whoops from the crowd, who are clearly happy she’s back. She (and we) are most bewitched by the dance numbers from “Rely On You” right through to her cover of “Make Your Own Kind of Music”, even when things take a turn for the drum ‘n’ bass with “Change”. Finishing the set with “Only Love” leaves revellers staggering out of this gorgeous forest glade on an absolute high, clutching their bags of rubbish and telling each other how much they love one another – something which I can only presume is as a result of the beautiful inspiration of Paloma’s Kindess Epidemic, a movement that I personally vow to sign up to.

So personable, so fearless and so enthused about issues like the environment and her Campaign For Kindness


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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