The unembarrassed and utterly charming Paloma Faith

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Paloma Faith,

Harrogate International Centre.

A MOSH pit is perhaps not the most obvious thing to associate with Harrogate International Centre or Harrogate International Festival.

But Paloma Faith came close to creating one when she performed there, as part of the Summer Festival.

It was hard not to be drawn in by her enthusiasm as she threw herself into the show and the result was a rush of fans to the stage, dancing and singing along with her.

Between belting out her hits, Faith engaged with the audience in a way that felt very intimate - and surprisingly honest for someone of her level of fame.

She even let the audience in on some of the battles she was having with her record company over her upcoming second album, urging everyone to support her by taking to the internet after the concert.

The songs were performed with gusto, her powerful voice filling the auditorium with ease.

Among the highlights were her biggest hits, including Stone Cold Sober which opened the show, a version of Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful which almost turned into a rave, the thumping Upside Down and, as part of the encore, New York.

Her new material was just as engaging, including the irreverant tribute to women’s bodies, Cellulite, complete with flashes of yellow tights under her floor-length dress.

The songs bounced along at a rapid pace, but Faith skilfully weaved in a truly beautiful cover of Nick Cave’s Into My Arms, which did not feel out of place in the generally more energetic set.

Dressed in what, from a distance, looked like her grandmother’s curtains and a pair of pink rubber gloves (but was probably something far more fashionable than that up close), the eccentric star created a relaxed atmosphere with friendly, quiet chats and self-effacing humour.

She made repeated reference to her lack of a “filter” between her brain and her mouth, giggling as she said she had been planning to take credit for writing a song she was in fact covering, but found herself unable to tell a lie.

And she knows how to endear herself to an audience, pointing out the bottle of Harrogate Spa Water she was drinking from and describing the town as “very pretty” - although mention of a time she spent living in Leeds drew a chorus of pantomime boos from the crowd.

The personal feel to the performance was emphasised when Faith, having falling over on stage, said with characteristic honesty: “You’d think I would be embarassed, but I’m just not!” and carried on with the show.

Vicky Carr