Lord knows I've gone on about how much I love a kooky female singer/songwriter on this blog.
Throw in some way-out costuming (hello Björk), occasional use of a harp ('sup Newsom), lyrics strewn with violence and otherwordly themes (Amos, I'm talking to you), delivered with utter fearlessness and total abandon, and you've got me hooked, baby.
It almost goes without saying that I was always going to love Florence & the Machine.
I haven't been this excited by a female singer since I discovered la Amos in high school (it seems I have a thing for melodramatic redheads). So excited in fact, that after I got back from her amazing gig on Monday night, I couldn't sleep for the tangle of songs in my head and the aftershock of tribal drumming in my chest. The afterimage of that flame-haired goddess striding the stage in diaphanous gown hitched up to show off her alabaster legs and gold-studded ankle boots is going to haunt me evermore.
I thought the album was absolutely blinding, but live? In person? Let's just say if the album was Florence turning it all the way up to 11, in concert she blew the needle clear off the dial. The lungs on that girl. I was in awe, torn between gawping at the pre-raphaelite vision jerking and prancing on stage and tearing myself away from the balcony for some mentalist dancing. I ended up doing an odd combination of both (I am great at prop-dancing. Chair dancing, bike dancing, balcony dancing - I'm your woman).
The crowd did that annoyingly English thing of standing still for most of the gig (despite Flo exhorting everyone to jump and howl) only to totally lose it for the final song of the encore. What's up with that, English?
It was a spell-binding night of one electric track after another, starting with the dark-eyed My Boy Builds Coffins and ending with the glorious Rabbit Heart. It was truly one of the greatest gigs I've ever had the joy of attending. And that is not an accolade I throw about lightly. If you don't believe me, ask Walks. Or Sincs (I don't actually know either of these people, by the by).
*with apologies to Sweet Nothings for stealing his headline. I couldn't think of a better one. In my defence, I didn't get much sleep.