HEARING Paloma Faith's distinctive voice on the other end of a Zoom link is almost as exciting as seeing the singer herself in concert.

This summer sees her getting back on the road and playing the sort of arenas, theatres, racecourses and other outdoor venues she's made her own in the 13 years since she released her debut album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? back in 2009.

"The reason I do this job generally is to go on stage and tour," she says when I ask her what the pandemic exeprience was like for someone who appears to be a natural performer. 

"It's my motivation so it was hard. I'm a sociable person who really loves other human beings so it was difficult being away from all that. I think I thrive on interaction on every level so getting back on tour is something I'm really looking forward to doing.

"The most important thing about these gigs is that they hark back to the live experiences we had before and keep the vibrancy you get when real human beings make a sound together on stage - it's not something that everyone does! 

"I want every show to differ from the next and that's something I'm excited about." 


Paloma wrote most of the songs for her fifth album, Infinite Things, before Covid-19 swept the world. Then we went into lockdown, and she ripped them all up and started afresh. She spent her downtime creating, learning to engineer her own music and just thinking about the world. 

"A leopard doesn't change its spots and I tend to be a busy person," she says. "I've banned my kids from saying the word 'bored' because there's no such thing as 'bored' - there's always something to do.

"I wrote and recorded the whole album during that time so it felt quite creative - it was the most 'spacious' my life had ever been and with that space I could be creative.

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"The next album is already in its early stages and it's been nice to think about what I want to say - there's always so much to say. A lot of people who are really close to me are really struggling - I think a lot of people have had quite a post-traumatic response to the isolation caused by the last two years. Add in the humanitarian crisis going on every day and you do start questioning what is important. It feels like a real time of introspection."

Also keeping Paloma occupied was the arrival of her second child in February 2021. 

"There were good things about it and negative things," she says. "It was nice to have that time together and not have loads of people swarming around you - it was quite intimate. 

"The downside was as the baby gets older you want them to learn to be sociable but luckily my baby seems super sociable - the health visitor keeps asking how I did it but we were determined to maintain contact with people even if it was on the computer."

Last year saw Paloma release the documentary Paloma Faith: As I Am which laid bare her experiences of starting out within the music industry and the challenges of balancing a career and being a mother. Much of it was a challenging watch as the 40-year-old struggled to make the best decisions for her family and her career.

"I felt it was quite important because there is still a lot to be said on the subject," she says. "It always astounds me when people say feminism isn't relevant anymore because women have equal rights - it's absolutely not true. 

"We like to perpetuate a society which is essentially patriarchal no matter how liberated we think we are - I read recently this book, Motherhood: A Manifesto, by Elaine Glaser, which was so interesting as I could see how I perpetuate patriarchy even though I see myself as someone who is pretty consciously against that. 

"It's so ingrained we don't even realise - lots of people talk about 'mum guilt' but that's influenced by this sense of duty as a mother which is conflicted by this desire to have a career.

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"Being a working mother is very different to being a working father - as soon as you walk through the door your kids expect you to be the most dominant person in the room and the one who they look to for security and safety even if the father is as liberated and helpful as he can be possibly be.

"Sometimes I feel like I can't get ill or even have time to have a wee when I get in - even if I do they'll both come and sit and stare at me and ask what's for dinner!"

It's this kind of honesty that makes Paloma such an appealing proposition to so many of her fans and someone who is also at the vanguard of a generation of female songwriters happy to let their opinions speak for themselves. 

"I'm happy about that," she adds. "I've been in the music industry publically for 13 years so I've seen it come and go over that time so I don't know if I'm part of it but I'm definitely a woman who makes music - that I can confirm!"

Paloma Faith plays Haydock Park on Friday, July 1. Tickets available here