Paloma's truth comes of age to create something beautiful and rewarding
When Paloma Faith was last making preparations for a Westcountry show, she was also celebrating the arrival of a comfy new bed, and the duckdown duvet and fancy embroidered French linen to go with it – a proper luxury and a well-deserved reward.
Roll forward a couple of years and the charming soul-fuelled pop chanteuse, now 27, is revelling in the purchase of her own house.
"Obviously I've got a mortgage. And it means so much more than just a roof over my head," reveals the delightfully theatrical, dulcet-toned singer songwriter and actress.
"It is a real marker in my career and my independence. I am living there alone and I have made it alone.
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"In the past I have looked for security in other people quite a lot. Strangely, I don't feel that I need that any more.
"I would like to have a new relationship, but as an equal; someone who will bring interesting things to my life," muses Paloma, whose songs are almost exclusively and unashamedly awash with love and heartbreak.
"To be honest I am a bit scared how I'm going to write another album – I guess I'll have to trawl back through my catalogue of relationships... or find someone to ruin my nice state of calm.
"People do love the truth, and if something's not honest they can always tell."
Late last month Paloma left behind this new safe haven in her home city of London to go on the road touring across the UK, a journey which she says is going "amazingly well".
"People have been so enthusiastic and the feedback has been great," says the singer, who arrives for her sell-out show at Plymouth Pavilions tonight with nominations for two Brit Awards – for Best Female Solo Artist and Best British Album for second LP Fall To Grace – waiting in the wings.
"Sometimes I do doubt myself and there are times when I feel I have let myself down; but then what is really really evident is that everyone around me just seems to love it, and to me that is the most important thing," adds Paloma, whose platinum debut LP Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful from 2009, stayed in the top 40 for over 40 weeks.
"My favourite part of the show is when everyone sings along with me; I really enjoy the togetherness of that."
As a performer she is renowned for her vampish make-up, big hair and wild and stunning custom-made stage outfits.
"I've loved fancy dress parties since I was a little girl. I think I would have one every day if I could," admits Paloma, who has an MA in theatre direction, and has worked as both a magician's assistant and a burlesque performer. Her latest acting role was as cabaret performer Georgia, in an episode of Blandings the current television adaptation of PG Wodehouse's stories.
She says that she has embraced a more classic glamour for this outing, reflecting the maturity of the album, which has so far spawned the hit singles Picking Up The Pieces, 30 Minute Love Affair, Never Tear Us Apart, Just Be, and the current release, Black & Blue.
"I love the album so much and I am loving performing it at last. The songs really suit me," says Paloma, who grew up listening to her mother's jazz records, finding her own way at an early age to the blues, soul and indie greats; music was her first love and she cites the diverse influences of Billie Holiday, Etta James, P J Harvey and Edith Piaf.
"People have been telling me that I've got such a good singing voice, but it's just that I've written songs that I can sing. I was really quite in control of this album and there is nothing manufactured about it – it really is the whole truth."