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Interview: Paloma Faith heads for Newmarket Nights




As part of this summer’s star-studded Jockey Club Live line-up, Paloma Faith is bringing her nationwide Age of Optimism tour to Newmarket Racecourses in June. And, as the double platinum and BRIT award-winning artist tells Velvet, she can’t wait. . .

Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417754)
Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417754)

You normally play vast indoor arenas. Even though your summer gigs will mainly be outside, are you anticipating them to be more intimate in nature?

“I think they will be as, because they aren’t in the pitch black of a venue, you can get a real feeling of connection with the crowd, like you can see each other’s eyes and really look at everyone who is there. I feel that we need that kind of thing more than ever now, which is also why I called it the Age of Optimism Tour. We’ve all been through some very harsh stuff over the last few years, so I’m hoping that people will leave the whole experience feeling full of life and in a positive frame of mind.”

Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417760)
Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417760)

A lot of the shows are at racecourses across the country. What’s the appeal of playing in a location like that?

“I’ve done them before and just had a really good time, so I was really keen to get more of them on this tour. The way that they are set up is really appealing, as they’re built for a certain kind of

euphoria. You can see the sky and there’s so many people out there too. They’re a jolly for the whole family. I really like doing shows that are multi-generational, which isn’t always possible depending on the venue. I think I’m an artist who is, in the old truest sense of the word, a variety performer, like the sort of thing back when whole families used to do things together and go and see shows. It’s not really like that any more sadly, but I definitely feel that the best sort of art is the kind that can be enjoyed by a child alongside a cynical old wife. That’s what I’m aiming for, so the racecourses are the perfect venue for that. It’s a big family day out!”

Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417761)
Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417761)

Are you planning on bringing your own family along to the shows and have you already been doing that this time around?

“My kids come to my shows if they can. One is in school so they can’t come as much, but the younger one is there more often. It’s a lot of fun, we travel around the country together and make the most of our time together. Hopefully lots of other families can be doing the same when they come to the racecourse shows, as well as the other outdoor events we are doing!”

Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417755)
Paloma Faith at Newmarket Racecourses (55417755)

You come over as an artist who lives to perform. How hard was it not being able to for so long and how does it feel to finally get back out there?

“It’s the reason why I’m in this job, I think, to perform live. So during lockdown, the feeling that we might never get out there ever again just wouldn’t go away. I’m touring now though and have this big one next summer, so I really feel like I can breathe now. The only time I ever feel the absence of anxiety is when I’m onstage, so it wasn’t easy getting used to not having that. I honestly couldn’t be happier to finally be getting back there, though. I always love it, but it’s even more special and important to me now. It’s had more of an impact on me than just reminding me how much I love it. It’s actually been a really profound, kind of ‘coming home’ feeling. I’ve been really moved by it. There’s probably a few factors in there, like having another baby, coming out of lockdown and getting back onstage, but it definitely feels like I’ve had a chance to reconnect with who I really am and you don’t get to do that very much when you are a new mum. It was maybe a bit over-emotional at times, if I’m honest, with me standing on stage thinking ‘This is what I LOVE!’”

Paloma Faith: Age of Optimism comes to Newmarket Racecourses on Friday, June 17. Tickets, which include an evening of pre-gig racing at the July Course, are priced from £34.72 and are booking now at thejockeyclub.co.uk/newmarket.


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