Friday, 11 December 2009

Florence and the Machine - Manchester Apollo

I really have got over people talking at gigs, I'd normally just move away a bit. BUT......when you have an incessant diatribe of utter bollocks being spouted throughout every slower tune in a monotone grating Manc accent by a girl who only stops to suck the face off her neanderthal doppelganger RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!, is it any wonder I lost it?

Just for reference I was sober and all I did was say excuse me while pushing past and standing in front of the gruesome twosome. When she moaned I explained things in words of one syllable, other than that, Great Gig. And really apologies for being a bit surly to the girl and her soon to be deaf chimp.

At the risk of declaring a bit early, The Temper Trap (support band) were way beyond expectations, you watch they'll come back next year all haircutty and Vampire Weekendy.

I was warned that i wouldn't like them much as they get played on radio one and the lead singer has a bit of falsetto going on.........if he did I couldn't see the join. They came on stage put their heads down and ripped into an instrumental that Mogwai would have been proud of (8oDb's higher Obviously). The rest of the set then continued to mix Mogwai vs Fine Young Cannibals which oddly worked, the bassist even had an upper body take on the bendy leg dance that bloke from FYC who was in The Beat had.............too much detail?

I suspect they may return with soaring guitars and Biffy beards next time.

A short break,then Florence and the Machine came on.

Make no bones about it, she is an absolute star and won't be playing venues this size much longer. Not only does she write great tunes, sing fantastically, have great stage presence and engages the audience from the start but she's gorgeous and self effacing too. Even worse she's got bags of energy, dances like St Vitus and makes her band feel like the most important people on earth.

The band crashed into 'My boy builds coffins' and the moment the singing started it was goosebumps all round. I was honestly stunned at the range of her vocals, it wasn't only the technical stuff which I'm pretty sure I don't understand anyway, but the movement from sweet to angry, from bitter to joyous.

I know some folk who read this like comparisons, well its Kate Bush, meets Siouxsie Sioux meets Patti Smith vs Karen Carpenter.....a bit good then.

I've seen some first album gigs that have been rendered tedious by filler when all we wanted was the album. No such mistake this evening, every track seemed vital to the set and every audience reaction was met with a smile and graciousness. 'You've got the Love' was euphoric, Drumming song was taking place inside my chest somewhere and Rabbit Heart could have lasted another 3 weeks for all I cared at this point.

Florence even did the U2 Bono thing of climbing on the speaker stack to perform.....although she did have the good grace to bash her head on the hanging speakers and then piss herself laughing.

Start to finish it was excellent and will make my top 10 list, And buy the album, it's great and they probably still need the money.


  1. Just downloaded the album last night, it's top banana, glad they put on a belting show...

  2. Was slow to pick up on this album...generally because I'm suspicious of all the NME "greatest new band of all time" type hype, but played it last month and think it's one of the best of the year.

    So thank you Chris for burning me a copy.

  3. ahem 'lending you a copy' never know who's watching

  4. oops, yes - thanks for lending me a copy. Actually, I like it so much, I am going to buy it (once it's a fiver at Fopp).

  5. Like the album a lot now. It's weird in all the right places, like Kate Bush, rather than weird in all the wrong places, like Johnnie Vegas.

    And if The Temper Trap do sound like Mogwai vs Fine Young Cannibals, then I definitely want to hear them..