Sunday, 11 March 2012

Florence and the Machine- 10/03/12

The building itself has a magical presence to it that, compared to most venues, at first arrival your body warms to the welcoming atmosphere. I had never visited Alexandra Palace before but I knew the moment I got there that it couldn't be more suited for Florence and her machine.

Situated on a large hill, overlooking London in an empowering and thoughtful manner, it captures the eye of many. The tropical plants and scenery together inside the entrance are friendly and elegant, and the big circular stain glass window opposite the stage is holy- all of which are found in the persona of Florence Welch.

The band responsible for commencing the show was Alpines, whose songs are slow-driven and haunting but also intriguing as Catherine Pockson's vocals bellow out a pathway into a heavenly land.

Joshua's nose looks really rather big and red in that picture. I can assure you it's just blurred.
The dreamy sounds continued when The Horrors took to the stage soon after to perform tracks off their latest album Skying and their second album Primary Colours. Loudly circulating the palace in a hypnotic motion, their set flowed together likes waves in an ocean of mysterious wonderfulness. And, after their collaboration with  Flo at the NME Awards the other week, it only seemed natural for her to her join them for their joint rendition of Still Life. Which is exactly what happened as herself (in a long black dress topped with glistening upper half) and Faris stood centre stage still but full of life in terms of vocal chords.

Florence's stage presence is like a Greek goddess. With her hair plaited at the sides, tied in a neat bun, and a flowing black gown descending down to her feet, she appeared on the stage to an eyeful of admirers, people heavily interested in her, and in some cases worshippers. Her voice is powerful and passionate and, with the help of her machine and two groups of orchestral accompaniments, live it was captivating.

She removed the gown to show off a tight-fitted black catsuit, embellished with gold detailing, which she pranced gracefully around the stage in before apologising to her mother, who was watching in the crowd, about the choice of outfit. Not that she really needed to as it was not revealing in the slightest compared to pop sensations of the present day and nor did it need to be.

Ceremonials went down a treat and her closing song (and new single) Never Let Me Go was a producer of goosebumps, leaning everyone towards an emotional side. The gig was going out live on BBC 6music and, as radio presenter Steve Lamacq introduced Florence and the Machine to the stage, he reminisced about the time he saw Florence perform at South By South West in 2008 in a tiny pub but with barrel-loads of energy. It's thinking about moments such as that that make you seriously proud of how far somebody like her can progress and how quickly it can happen.
After performing in a palace after just two albums, where on earth will she be next?

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