Monday, May 17

Florence + The Machine @Hammermsmith Apollo 15/05/10

. Monday, May 17

The atmosphere inside Hammersmith Apollo this Saturday night is nothing short of pandemonium. Teenage girls have brought home made banners, parents accompany first time gig goers and, as the stage lights drops the screams are deafening. Eighteen months ago this would not have happened. Two years ago Florence Welch was an unknown, supporting MGMT to near empty rooms but her rise to popularity has been as rapid as it has monumental.

Tonight rounds off a final UK tour of the number one album 'Lungs' which, if we're honest, is now exhausted. Having being spread across every gig, festival, advert and incidental TV moment known to man we as a nation know these songs inside out. Therefore tonight's show is less about the music and more about the moment. This is not about hearing 'Rabbit Heart' or 'Cosmic Love' but a coronation for the nation's pop sweetheart.

Emerging from a disco ball is a typically attention grabbing opening move from Florence, who will later do her encore wearing nothing more than a skin tight cat suit, but you can't help but admire her star quality. For most people a show this big would be daunting, however Florence always probably always knew she would get to this stage and beyond. Backed by a choir, string section and her Machine there are over twenty people on stage and whilst the music is suitably large every eye is on Florence as she bounds about the stage. The hits come thick and fast from set opener 'Drumming Song' through to a bouncy 'Dog Days are Over' and a rare moment of restraint on 'Between Two Lungs' with every song projected not just at the audience but through the ceiling and into another galaxy. Florence sounds massive, her geeky diva energy driving new song, tentatively titled 'Strangeness and Charm' showing no let up in the epic nature of her music.

Was this a show for the seasoned Florence fans? Probably not, no. Was this show proof that Lady Gaga aside, Florence is the biggest star in the UK? Very much so. 'You Got The Love' conjurs a spirit and mania that can only be compared to an X Factor final and only a curmudgeon would say that Florence lacks that magical ingredient in spades. Crowned, quite literally, by her fans giving her floral headbands, Florence leaves the stage after 'You Got The Love' earns a standing ovation, giving her Lungs a well earned break. Watching her rise to the top? It's been a wheeze.

Img: Carsten Windhorst


Anonymous said...

I think the fact that Lady Gaga is American proves that Florence is perhaps the biggest star in the UK...

David Renshaw said...

Well she might be the biggest UK born star here (bar Cheryl Cole) but Gaga is a lot, lot bigger.

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