Live Zone

Paloma Faith, Regent Theatre, Ipswich, 8th May 2024




Let’s cut the cr** and get straight to the nitty gritty here. Paloma Faith is a star. As a singer, a performer and a songwriter she is actually better described perhaps as a whole galaxy of stars and burning very brightly.



On stage in Ipswich last night, she looked like a star too. Her usual scatty/kooky/eccentric persona toned down a wee bit perhaps to be a tad more serious, given the tone of her latest album.

But interspersed with dollops of humour about the split with her long-term partner and father of her kids, and her now being a single mother. The banter had the sold out all-seated venue laughing their socks off at her commentary.

If she ever fancies a career change, stand-up comedy could well be an option. But methinks maybe this humour is a mask she wears to hide the hurt and pain she has endured and is still coming to terms with.



This Ipswich show is gig # 17 of the current 26-date tour plugging her most recent album, “The Glorification Of Sadness”, which was released in February this year via RCA, peaked at # two in the UK album chart and and features 17 tracks – a stunning piece of work.

It is Paloma’s sixth studio album. Her debut dropped in 2009, “Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?” on Epic Records, after which she moved to RCA. “Infinite Things”, her previous album before this latest one, came out in November 2020.




The show is in two parts. No support. Paloma and her band kick off “Set A” at 8pm for 13 songs and then take a short a break, before “Set B” of nine songs. A total of 22 songs for the concert. Full setlist below… 

FYI: There is usually a cat walk-type ramp on stage for the shows on this tour, but for some unexplained reason, not tonight.



Paloma, born Paloma Faith Blomfield, now 42, looks a million dollars, as she usually does. Her blonde locks blowing about from the large fan (that is not a criticism of an audience member’s weight by the way!) at her feet.

She has tremendous stage presence, huge likeability – as we found out when she was a coach on The Voice and The Voice Kids on UK TV a while back – and gently but expertly commands the audience and makes that big room appear intimate; like she is singing purely for you. That is a rare art and a skill Paloma has in buckets.

She delivers 13 of the 17 songs from the latest album and all in the first set. Opening with the phenomenal future break-up anthem for newly single women, and maybe for some gay men too, “How You Leave A Man”. Powerful stuff.

There are some emotional and poignant moments in her lyrics across the album, and in these songs she includes from it tonight. The songs on the record perhaps a therapeutic journal of her heartbreak and sadness about the end of her relationship, while also coming to terms with being a single mum [to two daughters].

Paloma trawls the gamut of human emotion in the songs on this album, and it doesn’t take a Mensa member to work out which track is devoted to her being very pi**ed off, when you spot the song title: “F*ck Off And Die”. Nuff said!

But dare I say this without sounding uncaring; heartbreak never sounded so good. It is not wallowing or self-indulgent at all. This is the sound of a world class artist and songwriter who writes what she knows and what she feels, and by golly we know it is real.

Paloma is as good as anyone on the the planet writing about a broken heart right now. Her story and these songs not only trace her journey through a break-up, but could also be summed up by the title of that classic Gloria Gaynor song: “I Will Survive”.

Her performance is mighty, theatrical but graceful – and absolutely faultless. I must credit her wonderful band and backing singers too for their super contribution. But Paloma never gets enough credit for that amazing instrument of hers: that killer and versatile voice. She is one of the best vocalists of any genre the UK has produced in decades.

This show could just as well be on an arena stage instead of this lovely, circa 1550 capacity, East of England theatre – not far off its 100th birthday. But maybe this more intimate venue is exactly where she should be touring right now with these songs.

The second set offers no songs from the latest LP, but it gave us hit after hit, such as “Stone Cold Sober”, “Upside Down”, “Picking Up the Pieces”, “Can’t Rely On You” and “Only Love Can Hurt Like This”, and two covers, “Lullaby”, a UK # six single in 2018 with Sigala – from Paloma’s album “The Architect” – and “Changing”, a UK # one single in 2014 with Sigma.

She delivered a real showstopper for her final song of the night, ” Only Love Can Hurt Like This”, getting the whole place lit up and twinkling by mobile phones. A spine-tingling sight and sound. Her voice soars. [I was surprised she did not do the wonderful track “Ready For The Good Times” at all in the set though. Love that one.]

Earlier, Paloma sings “Enjoy Yourself”, which is the official 2024 Red Nose Day single. I think everyone in the house tonight would tell you they most definitely did. Even those who shed a tear or two moved by Paloma’s heartbreak. Me? Nah, I just had some dust in my eye, honest.

We all know the phrase, “Girl Power”, well this is female empowerment writ large. As Paloma said; maybe I can make my pain into my cash cow! I am sure she was tongue in cheek with that remark, but Adele has done very nicely with that stance, hasn’t she?

Paloma’s raw soul-baring proves she is the real deal and the total package as an artist, who really, really, really does earn that often-abused status of SUPERSTAR, for my money. Keep the faith.


Photos: Liam Battersby

Words: Emma Ledwell



Ipswich setlist


Set A

How You Leave a Man

God in a Dress

Bad Woman


Say My Name

I Am Enough

Already Broken

Hate When You’re Happy

Enjoy Yourself

Cry on the Dance Floor

Eat Shit and Die

Let It Ride


Set B

Stone Cold Sober

Picking Up The Pieces


Upside Down


Can’t Rely on You

(Sigala cover)

(Sigma cover)

Only Love Can Hurt Like This


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