LIVE REVIEW: Florence and the Machine


WHERE: Alexandra Palace

WHEN: 25/9

SETLIST: What The Water Gave Me; Ship To Wreck; Shake It Out; Rabbit Heart; Third Eye; Delilah; You’ve Got The Love; How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; Cosmic Love; Long and Lost; Mother; Queen Of Peace; Spectrum; Dog Days Are Over; What Kind Of Man; Drumming Song.

It’s 9.20pm, we’re running 20 minutes late, there appear to be problems with the video screens and Florence and the Machine are due to be off before the 11pm curfew.

It’s a far cry from the last time we saw them, just three months ago proving to be the absolute highlight of our Glastonbury. Free of technical problems, the constraints of a curfew and with an audience less concerned about making the last Tube home, they proved more than adequate last-minute replacements for the Foo Fighters.

Tonight’s set is much the same as their Glastonbury turn. Florence even crowdsurfs into the audience as she did memorably at Glastonbury during a frenetic and joyful Rabbit Heart. The between-song banter is kept to a minimum as there’s a palpable sense of crowbarring the 16-song set into the time available before the curfew.

This is the fourth and final night at London’s 7,300-capacity Alexandra Palace on the How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful tour. Florence heads for the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe as the tour progresses through the rest of the year. We’d expect it to continue into 2016 with some summer festival headline slots before culminating in London for at least one more show.

This was our sixth Florence and the Machine gig and what impresses is the strength of the material on the band’s third album. There’s no sense of any loss of momentum. If anything the songs are stronger, more anthemic even, and over the last six years Florence has become an energetic and charismatic performer as at ease performing in arenas as she is before a 100,000-plus crowd at Glastonbury.

Who could forget her utter abandon as she repeatedly pirouettes across the stage to tonight’s best song Delilah? If How Big is not quite enjoying the same sales as Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran did last year, it’ll certainly be in the higher reaches of 2015’s biggest sellers.

  • Florence and the Machine often offer presale tickets to fans who sign up to receive emails here.

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