Florence + the Machine, Live in London – Review

Florence Welch performing ‘Cosmic Love’ in London. Image taken by Craig Fergus

Hot off the heels of her critically acclaimed fourth album ‘High as Hope’, indie pop icons Florence and the Machine are currently in the midst of a sold out worldwide tour.

‘This is my hometown!’ Florence Welch triumphantly exclaimed to the 3000 strong crowd at the capitals Royal Festival Hall. This wasn’t the songbirds first performance at the iconic venue, and it certainly won’t be her last.

Florence opened the show with ‘June’, a relatively slow song which did little to boost spectators spirits, but all was forgiven within the opening bars of her second track ‘Hunger‘, as the crowd began to warm up for what turned out to be a spectacular show.

As Welch ran through her repertoire of classics (particular crowd-pleasers included ‘Between Two Lungs’ and ‘Dog Days Are Over), many bystanders on the floor were disheartened to realise how little energy the majority of her audience had, almost as if they’d been forced to attend her concert. One woman even shouted ‘lighten up!’ to a group of Londoners that remained immobile during ‘Ship to Wreck’, one of the bands most dance-inspired tracks.

When the groups main set was drawing to a close, Florence knew exactly what to do to ensure her band went out with a bang. She must have asked herself, ‘what can I do to really get the crowd moving?’.

Her answer? Get in it.

Mid-way through ‘Delilah‘, Florence spontaneously jumped off stage barefoot (as always) and proceeded to run to the back of the venue and greet attendees by jumping from the sound desk into the audience, dancing with and embracing her fans as if they were old friends. Bold moves like this set Florence aside from other pop forces like Mariah Carey and Britney Spears, who wouldn’t dare pull such exciting stunts in a non-controlled environment.

Katy Evans, a student at Sheffield University who travelled to London just to attend Welch’s concert, said that the front-woman exceeded all her expectations and that it was one of the best live shows she had ever seen. She said, ‘Florence has a star quality that doesn’t exist in any other artist as big as her in modern music. Everyone refers to her as underrated, but considering she has sold out every UK show on this tour proves she must be doing something right!’.

Finishing the night with an encore of the 2012 mega-hit ‘Shake It Out‘, Florence and the Machine proved once again they have still got it – and they’re going to ‘have it’ for a very long time.