K eeping the Faith
Paloma’s revamped third album, A Perfect Contradiction - Outsiders’ Edition contains five new songs and now she’s touring the heck out of it. Does she ever stop?
RedHanded: You’re touring heaps in the UK now and you are coming off the back of a US tour. Are you looking forward to this or dreading it a bit?
Paloma Faith: I am looking forward to it, but I am also concerned I am going to lose my voice (laughs). But I have a three-week gap which is more than enough. I just need two days for recovery.
Each tour seems to get bigger – are you going to do anything different on this one?
It’s a bigger band, there are three additional players, there’s a brass section, 12 people on stage including me.
Any highlights of any specific places from past tours?
I don’t know where I am going on this tour, but I can say that Cardiff is pretty cool! Everyone is so pleased you have gone there as a lot of people miss it out. It’s just an amazing atmosphere. You know when you watch films and you see pop stars or something, a live gig is the closest you could feel to that. People feel like they’re in a film or something.
You’re doing more than 20 dates. Any home comforts that you take with you?
We’re on a tour bus most of the time so we all have a lot of different exciting types of pyjamas. A lot of onesies flying around. You know in The Big Lebowski how the dude is always in his flip flops and dressing gown holding a White Russian? That is basically me on tour. In my flip flops and dressing gown until two hours before stage, then I go and turn into this glamorous thing. The rest of the day I have a pyjama party. It’s funny, people always say being on tour must be so gruelling but I think it is the most ungruelling element of my job. Shall I tell you why? Because I hate doing interviews. It’s basically luxury to me to get up every morning and have literally nothing to do for an entire day, then do two hours’ work at the end of the day. Two hours to get ready then two hours on stage, that’s four hours’ work a day. That’s nothing compared to normal days. Yesterday I woke up, started work at 8 and finished at 1.30 am. That’s a normal day for me. I was doing personal training then interviews for the entire day then went to the studio to record more music, and I got home at 1.30 am. I just think it’s ridiculous. On tour is like going on holiday. All those musicians who are telling you it’s hard are bloody lazy *******s. It’s easy. And also you get to perform so you get full of natural drugs every night, adrenaline and stuff.
Do you get a chance to explore the cities?
I tend not to because when I’m outside London it’s quite difficult for me to go incognito and I find that quite exhausting. I try to really just reserve my energy when I am on tour. If I go out and do pictures with everyone in the street all day I’ll be tired by the time I come to perform. I tend to just hide away. Even if I go out in my flip flops and my onesie they do recognise me, believe me I’ve tried it!
Is it the same for holidays, do you have to go aboard?
Yeah I tend to go to places where I’m not well-known. It’s getting worse, the bigger each release gets.
Are you happy with the success of this album?
I am happy but obviously it could have done worse and it could have done better!
Your performance at the BBC Proms is on the deluxe version of the album. Was that a big moment?
That was the best moment of my career to date. It was just all of it. I have done quite a lot with that orchestra before, become friends with a lot of them. It was nice to walk on to the Albert Hall stage for the first time and feel like I was with a family rather than being really nervous. I have done a lot of stuff there before where I’ve done one song but it was my first proper own show. The venue suits me; it wasn’t my choice that it hasn’t happened before.
You’re on the road right through to mid-December. Are you thinking about Christmas yet?
I haven’t really thought about it, usually I am the one who organises Christmas for everyone but I think this year I am going to stand down because I’m really tired. I’d really like to mention that I am doing another UK tour in March. Coming to Cardiff again! Twice in six months! Wow. Lots of the new dates are big arenas. How does that feel? I had only done one arena before in London and it is exhilarating. It’s scary as well because you’ve got to get your s**t together and get organised, put on a good show. I am really excited but also nervous as it is a lot of seats to fill and it is very obvious when you haven’t filled them.
What are your thoughts on filling an arena stage?
It’s not going to be the same as this tour; it will be all bells and whistles. I am already in talks about it now - in bloody September! I have a lot of good things planned for that tour; it’ll be bigger and better than I have ever done, with a lot more people involved and visual elements and stuff.
Is it daunting thinking about how many people are employed by you to put together a show like that?
I don’t find it scary. I think it makes me feel confident that I have staff. I feel good I have built a little empire.
Your success continues to build here and in the USA, with Australia coming next year, any others?
US tour, Oz tour and European tour as well next year. I was No1 in Australia and that’s my first No1 in my career that was for a few weeks, so it’s pretty amazing. It’s building nicely and doing well in Holland which is reassuring as it wasHolland that broke Pharrell with Happy on his comeback. So yeah, I am pleased. I am doing a
lot more damage than I have in the past.
2015 is mapped out then - have you had time to think about a new album?
On this repack version of A Perfect Contradiction, I have been working with peopleI haven’t worked with before and I am really enjoying it. I’m concentrating on that. The next album won’t be ready for a while as I have to get all these tours out of the way and I have also been writing for the repack.
And you recorded with Dame Shirley Bassey?
Yes! I recorded a duet with her for her “60 years in music” album. It’s not a secret Bond track: I wish it was!
Any last words about your tour and arena tour?
I am hoping it will be more than six people at the arena tour because it will be a bit humiliating, so please come!
Paloma plays Motorpoint Arena on
November 13 and then again on March 17