GIG REVIEW: Florence And The Machine at The O2

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

SETLIST: June; Hunger; Between Two Lungs; Only If For A Night; Queen Of Peace; South London Forever; Patricia; Dog Days Are Over; 100 Years; Ship To Wreck; The End Of Love; Cosmic Love; Delilah: What Kind Of Man; Big God; Shake It Out

WHEN?: 21/11/18, tour runs to 29/6/19

Florence namechecks Greenwich, New Cross, Peckham and Camberwell as places she grew up ahead of new song South London Forever during this emotional hometown gig.

  • Read on for reasons including how a sky full of pink ticker tape fell on the audience throughout the encore

She tells us how much her heart has hurt after events since her last major gig in the capital two years ago.

Instead she urges us to deploy hope, her new album is entitled High As Hope, as an action not a wish and to be kind to others however small the deed might seem. Revolution is inspired by individual actions, she explains.

She acknowledges the hippy vibe of urging spontaneous hugs and hand holding which is reinforced by the timber yard staging with giant billowing linens hanging from the ceiling.

That new album is for the most part more wordy and introspective than its three predecessors and its more thoughtful songs sit comfortably in a set which eschews several of the songs for which Florence is best known.

This 95-minute gig is packed full of the moments that have characterised some of the best concerts the band have given: Dog Days Are Over erupts into a riot of audience participation, Delilah sees Florence passing through the audience onto a podium three-quarters of the way back from the stage on the arena’s floor and the final 2 songs of the encore are unforgettable as a blizzard of pink ticker tape falls onto fans from the heavens.

Florence has enjoyed such international success in recent years that her explanation of new song Patricia being about a Patti Smith who described her spirit as being present whenever it was performed is perfectly believable.

During South London Forever Florence describes how her partying days are behind her but that doesn’t mean life is boring, just different.

This new album certainly presents her as more contemplative and grown-up but all the more interesting for it. High As Hope may have lacked the big anthems and bombast that has characterised her previous work but this gig brilliantly showcases that she has a new string to her bow – and it’s hitting its audience’s bullseye.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Florence And The Machine. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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