PALOMA Faith’s headline performance at the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza was a long time coming, but her powerful performance meant it was worth the wait.

Faith was forced to withdraw from the Extravaganza in 2018 after being diagnosed with acute laryngitis and declared unfit to perform by a doctor backstage.

Since then, she has released her fifth studio album Infinite Things and given birth to her second daughter.

Her Extravaganza set carefully navigated the joy and heartache she has experienced in recent years, from motherhood to the loss of much-loved bandmate Kevin Banks (B.B. Bones).

Faith took to the stage on Saturday night after her “megababe” Seasick Steve and Black Dyke Band warmed up the audience with their hour-long sets.

The Hackney-born singer-songwriter was joined on stage by a bassist, a guitarist, a keyboard player, a drummer/vocalist and three backing singers, who added depth to her soulful vocals and provided upbeat choreography.

She immediately impressed with her strong stage presence when she opened her set with ‘Gold’, bringing virtually the entire crowd to its feet. 

Her high-energy stagecraft was maintained throughout her set as she danced with her bandmates, waved at children in the audience and encouraged the crowd to sing and clap along.

Her instantly likeable personality was evident throughout, as was her warm sense of humour (“Who threw that bra? Was it at Steve or me?”).

She openly reflection on her emotions from the last two years, telling the audience after playing ‘Last Night on Earth’: “It’s so amazing to see all of your beautiful faces out there.

“If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in the last few years, it’s that we need to be in the moment. I need you all to sing and dance with me and be in the moment.”

Addressing the elephant in the room, she added: “Glastonbury, was anybody here at the gig I cancelled last time? Thank you so much for trusting in me. Thank you for your patience.”

The first half of her set featured euphoric singles from her recent releases – including ‘Crybaby’ (“dedicated to all the men in the audience”), ‘Monster’ and ‘Living With a Stranger’ – and debut album favourites ‘Stone Cold Sober’ and ‘Upside Down’.

Somerset County Gazette: Paloma Faith and her band impressed with their sunset performance at Glastonbury Abbey. Picture: Tom LeamanPaloma Faith and her band impressed with their sunset performance at Glastonbury Abbey. Picture: Tom Leaman

She later paid tribute to her bandmate and touring musical director Banks, who passed away from a terminal illness in May, before performing ‘Beautiful and Damned’, a song written for him.  

Before launching into ‘Infinite Things’, another track that drew inspiration from her own experiences, she told the audience: “The absolute two best things that ever happened to me was having my children.

“I want to sing this for all the parents in the audience and all the children, and that’s all of us because we’re all somebody’s child.”

As darkness fell, the audience was treated to a stunning rendition of Janis Joplin’s ‘Piece of My Heart’ before Faith delivered on a promise to bring an “all dancy, all bouncy” feel to the end of the show.

The highlights were ‘Changing’, Faith’s 2014 collaboration with drum and bass duo Sigma, and an energetic, catchy performance of ‘Can’t Rely On You’.

The gig was brought to a spellbinding close as Faith asked the thousands present to switch on their phone torches for power ballad ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’.

(Yes, this has become something of a cliché - but what's wrong with that if it brings a sense of magic to a summer evening spectacle?). 

“If everyone to the back does it, it looks amazing,” she said.

“If five people do it, it can be pretty degrading. You look great. This is what the sky could look like if we hadn’t polluted the world so much.”

Paloma Faith setlist, Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza 2022


‘Last Night on Earth’


‘Living With a Stranger’


‘Better Than This’

‘Stone Cold Sober’

‘Crazy Love’ (Van Morrison cover)

‘Upside Down’

‘Beautiful and Damned’

‘Infinite Things’

‘Piece of My Heart’ (Janis Joplin cover)

‘Picking Up The Pieces’



‘Can’t Rely On You’


‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’