Gig Review by Emily-Camilla Stockham with Photography by Jeremy Carron

Florence + the Machine

Alexandra Palace is always a magical venue feeling in part like an indoor music festival and part like a museum with its impressive cavernous ceilings and stain glassed windows. It’s cool yet classic and almost gothic feel makes it the perfect venue for a Florence and the Machine show with front lady Flo encompassing a similar dichotomy of classical and quirky in her performances.

Florence + the Machine

Rainy autumnal evening in London and the crowd piled in droves to see Flo and co squeeze out the last remaining drops of ethereal summer sparkle and excitement everyone has left over from the hazy festival season.

Florence + the Machine

The set began with Welch’s 11-piece band taking to the stage and setting the mood with a brooding yet beautiful piece of music. They were soon joined by their singer, who climbed onto the stage from the floor level and began to sing ‘What The Water Gave Me’. Dressed in silk white trousers with a matching waistcoat and no shoes, Welch sprinted from one side of the stage to the next as the song reached its dramatic peak as she so typically does using the energy of the song to fill the stage – Florence is an explosive fiery canon on stage and she is captivating to watch.

Florence + the Machine

The whole performance was equally as energetic with tunes like ‘Ship To Wreck’ and ‘Third Eye’ pierced and punctuated with pirouettes and gazelle-like hops and leaps.

Florence + the Machine

A rare direct addressing of the crowd tonight, Welch gave London a gentle hello, as she hid her face from the crowd’s applause. “Thank you so much for coming. We had wanted a choir with us tonight but were wondering if you would be our choir.” Florence’s set is magical, awe inspiring and whimsical as she prances around the stage like a pixie to the sound of her orchestra whilst belting out long, loud and high notes with convinction and the crowd do indeed act as her choir through bellowing classics ‘Shake it out’ and ‘You’ve got the love’. There was a sea of flailing arms and flower-laden heads reciting Flo’s tunes word for word and it’s impossible to not feel part of the collective in such a free spirited and high spirited crowd.

Florence + the Machine

Flanked by two screens showing close-up footage of Welch and with a mirror-tiled wall behind the stage, the setting was suitably theatrical and decadent. Fans were urged to climb on a partner’s shoulders during ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ with Welch singing the second half of the song while propped up by security on the front row.

Florence + the Machine

Stand out track was ‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’ which Florence attributed its inspiration to the blue skies of London town. It was a nice picture to paint on such a starkly different chilly and damp London evening.

Florence + the Machine

After climbing back onto the stage as ‘What Kind Of Man’ ended and she finished shouted the lyric centimetres from a chap in the front row’s face, Welch collapsed backwards at the feet of bass player Mark Saunders. The 90-minute set then ended with the iconic ‘Drumming Song’ leaving Ally Pally on a euphoric high.

Florence + the Machine Florence + the Machine

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