Far from Florence Welch taking a year off - as she hinted she would after this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival shows - the singer headed back out on the road and brought the latest leg of the Ceremonials tour to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena on Saturday night.
Florence + The Machine’s combined equal parts 1920s art deco glamour and indie psychedelic pop with Welch’s soaring vocals over the top.
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As the house lights dimmed at the Ricoh, Welch appeared, silhouetted behind a magnificent looking vintage backdrop before a door opened and she strode out singing set opener Only If For A Night.
Welch has one of the most powerful, anthemic voices of any female in indie, combining elements of Kate Bush and PJ Harvey but with a firm classical twist and psychedelic overtones.
Equally, ‘The Machine’ are a cut above your average indie musicians.
All night, harps and pianos swirled around the Richo’s Jaguar Hall while Welsh, wearing a lavish purple dress, danced around the stage barefoot.
Most of Florence + The Machine’s 15 song set comprised of tracks from the band’s 2011 lauded album Ceremonials.
What The Water Gave Me was an early gem from the album which epitomised F+TM’s sound while Dumming Song saw Welch join her band and embark on some thunderous percussion.
Welch was on chatty form all night, at one stage proclaiming “We are Florence and The Machine. We come from England but we want human sacrifice”.
She also admitted playing in front of the 10,000-plus capacity crowd was “the ultimate cure for a hangover which has lasted two days”.
Fans were also urged to climb on other’s shoulders while Welch sang out loud the number of people she spotted.
It was Florence + The Machine’s cover of The Source’s You’ve Got The Love which was met with one of the biggest cheers of the night with fans also treated to a stripped back version of Heartlines.
Shake It Out turned into a rapturous sing-a-long while No Light, No Light slowly built into a rapturous end of set climax.
Florence + The Machine returned for an encore, ending the night with Dog Days Are Over - itself a near perfect slice of folk pop.
Florence Welch is a captivating frontwoman with a magnificent and powerful voice which wasn’t at all lost in the cavernous arena setting.
Grinning from cheek-to-cheek, she spent virtually all night dancing around the Ricoh stage, reaching out to fans and occasionally pausing to strike poses arms aloft or stretched out wide.
The haunting Seven Devils and the raucous indie anthem Kiss With A Fist were two omissions from Florence + The Machine’s set, but few would have cared having enjoyed a night of near perfect pop.
Florence + The Machine played:
Only If for a Night
What the Water Gave Me
Bird Song Intro
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
You’ve Got the Love (The Source cover)
Lover to Lover
Leave My Body (piano version)
Shake It Out
No Light, No Light
Dog Days Are Over
(Setlist via Setlist.fm)