I saw Paloma Faith live a couple of weeks ago at the Hammersmith Apollo, and I’m not ashamed to say that she genuinely moved me. Her story is truly inspiring.
She funded her way through a Theatre Directing MA by working in various jobs such as a sales assistant in Agent Provocateur, a singer in a burlesque cabaret, and a life model. Her dedication to her dreams eventually led to being recognised by the music industry in the late 2000’s.
She’s always been interested in the music, and wary of becoming a singing puppet for big record labels – she allegedly walked out of an audition at Epic Records because the manager of the label refused to turn off his phone when she asked him to.
This down-to-earth character is what made that night at the Apollo so touching. Her performance of Just Be, acoustic, sat atop a lone piano was just mesmerising – the words and the way she sang them massaging an open emotional wound for me in that moment.
If you like this song, go and buy her Fall From Grace album, I implore you – it’s a musical masterpiece from start to finish, and this song is just one piece of the story that the album tells with amazing power.
Flirt! is the name of a brand associated with Friday night events held in 20 student unions throughout the UK. It started life at the University of Surrey, before growing out into other student unions. Last October when lots of freshers joined StagTV (the University of Surrey’s Student Television Station) everyone was split into groups and asked to make a short video about a given topic. I was the mentor for a group with three other people and our topic was Flirt nights.
Not wanting to go down the traditional StagTV route of a boring presenter-led news-style short, we did something different… and far more ambitious. We came up with dozens of ideas and eventually whittled it down to 13 we wanted to film. Then during the filming process some more ideas got canned and we ended up with the product you see now. It’s amazing how much the music adds to the whole piece! I think my next project will involve considering suitable music for a scene before even going to film to give the actors and the rest of the team a clearer idea of the emotion we’re trying to convey to the audience.
And what will my next video project be? Well it’s already begun, but it is rather ambitious… and that’s all I want to say about it for now. I do want to make the next project far more open with you guys and give you an insight into the production as it happens in a sort of behind-the-scenes kind of way.
I’m going to hand the description over to Adam Hurd, the brainchild of this sketch:
“Three years ago I helped kidnap a man and interrogated him in a room beneath the girls bogs at Surrey Students Union. I did it because I was asked to make a light hearted video encouraging students to do something amazingly boring. Now, for the first time, you can enjoy watching a 4 minute short that not one, not two, but three generations of Student Media didn’t want to use: some because it wasn’t their cup of tea, others more bafflingly because it wasn’t shot in HD. Most likely you had to be there to enjoy this – but huge thanks to everyone who was involved and especially Charles Gray for taking the time to edit it together.”