Review: Florence & the Machine – Glasgow S.E.C.C. 12/03/12

Originally published for IAreYeti.

For a woman only two albums in to her career, to be selling out arenas, within a matter of minutes, around the country is quite an incredible achievement. What many people may not realise is just how dedicated and adoring fans of Florence & the Machine are, but this was made abundantly clear on her ‘Ceremonials’ arena tour.

Despite fantastic support slots from Spector and The Horrors, all the crowd seemed to care about was Florence, which was a shame considering how great both band’s sets were. For such a new and relatively unknown band, playing arenas at this stage in their career would probably be quite daunting for Spector. However, they have a distinct enough sound and style to allow them to hold their own in that kind of situation and, hopefully, gain a few new fans in the process.

Following them were The Horrors, who continue to prove, with every album they release and every live performance they give, just how much they are developing as a band. Being able to perform seven minute songs, like the brilliant ‘Sea Within a Sea’, well live, without allowing your attention to drift away from the song is one of their greatest qualities. Whether supporting Florence & the Machine was a smart move for the band, considering the different audiences they appeal to, doesn’t really matter because they are and always will be an incredible band.

As the lights went down in anticipation of Florence’s arrival on stage, the crowd cheered and descended in to synchronised chants of “Florence, Florence…”, during what seemed like a never-ending wait. Eventually, Florence appeared on stage, dressed in a black embellished cape, from behind her church-like set piece – a fitting choice considering all the religious references on new album, ‘Ceremonials’.

Kicking off the set with two tracks from her new album, beginning with ‘Only If for a Night’ in to ‘What the Water Gave Me’, Florence proved that, not only can she fill arenas, but that her songs fit perfectly in these kinds of venues. If there is one word to describe Florence’s music, it is big and it is the grand, epic nature of her songs which allow them to thrive so much in an arena, where they don’t seem too over-powering.

However, the stripped back version of ‘You’ve Got the Love’, a song which Florence has pretty much made her own, also worked well and allowed her the opportunity to sing without all the usual shouting and lengthy notes. Old favourites like ‘Dog Days are Over’ and ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ were sung back at Florence word for word, so much so that she could have stopped singing and the crowd probably wouldn’t have noticed and would have kept on going.

With endless shouts of “I love you, Florence”, between songs, coming from crowd members, Florence clearly had her fans wrapped around her finger, in whose eyes she can do no wrong. To have so many dedicated fans at this point in her career is a great asset and means that Florence & the Machine can only really get bigger and, hopefully, better.

Overall Rating: 4/5

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