Last Night in London: Paloma Faith Live at the Union Chapel, Islington.

There’s something incredibly striking about Paloma Faith live, as she arrives on stage.

Up close, she’s incredibly beautiful. Her skin, flawless. Her movements, fluid. She glides, rather than walks, with a intensity that stopped the room in it’s tracks. And then she starts to sing with a power you previously expected may have been enhanced in the studio – but no. She really IS that good.

All of this was a little surprising, in all honesty. Having watched Paloma emerge as one of the country’s favourite stars over the last year (from my lounge, of course. I haven’t been actually watching her. I’m not that stalky), I half expected her to come stomping on to the stage, possibly tripping over something, being a bit sweary and making everyone laugh. But no, there was none of this…for the first half at least, Paloma immersed herself in the songs, fell into character and had amazing stage presence.

Around half way through the crowds hoops and “I love you P’s” must have broken through, and the nutty Paloma we all (think we) know emerged. Watching her on form really is a little bit like watching stand up, you can’t help but smile. She explained that this acoustic set was something entirely new for her; that they’d only had one run through, and that the Union Chapel held a special place in her heart. Amazingly, it was the first stage she ever performed live for the public on…and you could see she was pleased to be back.

Click image to see full size version

Paloma performed the tracks from her Number 1 album, Fall to Grace, in a new and original way. Backed by a live Pianist and stunning string quartet, the songs came to life in this beautiful church building and showed just how much Paloma has matured as an artist over the last 18 months. It was beautiful.

We also have to give a special mention to the wonderful Nina Nesbitt, who was up first last night. You may not yet have heard of this 19 year old Scottish singer, but you will. Her voice is incredible…and her image is cute, quirky and she’s so pretty, the British public are bound to fall in love with. Nina sings songs from the heart, with my personal favourite being one she’d written for a childhood friend who’d become ill. An exceptional talent as both a singer and song-writer, I hope that her star rises as it should and Nina sees a lot of success this year. Pick up her Apple Tree EP for just £1.69 at Amazon.

Both artists were performing to support War Child – raising funds for the lost kids who are the victims of war throughout the world. The gig was produced by AMEX as one of their Platinum Cashback rewards – which is one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time. You buy your ticket (£30) and then on the night, have the choice to either take the cash back…or donate that £30 to War Child. You’re not made to feel guilty if you don’t donate, but sriously, why wouldn’t you? You get to see an exclusive, BRILLIANT gig for just £30, and possibly get to help save a child’s life too.

Nice one AMEX. I hope lots of money was raised last night – it was a fantastic evening and a brilliant cause.

(All photos and video taken by me on the Canon SX50 HS. Apologies the videos are only a minute long each…I’m ill and my arms got tired!)

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