It’s hard to imagine that there was much of a discussion about the choice of venue that Florence & The Machine had decided to play for the London leg of the Ceremonials Tour. The o2? Brixton? No chance. Alexandra Palace is perfectly suited to the job, with its breathtaking views of London outside, and awe-inspiring interior, only one question remains, can Florence live up to the venue and give the people of the palace a night to remember?
It’s been a busy few months for Florence and her ‘Machine’, having recently toured North and South America, and also having played dates in Japan, The Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, and at the S*it Awards, you could be mistaken for thinking that she might want to take a breather.
However, it’s evident she’s made of stronger stuff than that, and were it not for the small matter of having sold out Ally Pally for three nights on the trot, she probably could have done.
The Horrors provide support duties tonight, opening with ‘Mirror’s Image’ and treating the crowd to an onslaught of reverse reverb guitar, psychedelic synths, haunting vocals and a tight rhythm section. So in other words, that’ll be a selection of songs from both their latest album ‘Skying’, and it’s predecessor ‘Primary Colours’. By the time their set closes with ‘Sea Within A Sea’ and ‘Still Life’, it’s obvious not only that are they are enjoying themselves, but that the best is yet to come from these gentlemen.
Florence begins with Ceremonials opener ‘Only If For A Night’, dressed in a black cape that would put both Darth Vader, and Batman to shame. Using every inch of the art deco inspired stage, Florence proves that she is every bit the superstar that the crowd suspected she was, and also that the choice of venue was indeed, nothing short of genius.
By the time she plays latest single ‘Shake It Out’, she’s ditched the cape, and seemingly any inhibitions that she may have had during the first part of her set. Following it up with ‘Dog Days Are Over’, the remainder of the night continues in the same triumphant style in which it begun, and by set closers ‘You’ve Got The Love’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ few are left in any doubt that they are watching something very special indeed.