Back with another set of sold out shows after breaking into the UK charts with her critically acclaimed album Lungs, Florence Welch is once again proving why her aptly titled album is worthy of its praise. Opening with Howl, the gothic princess bounces around a birdcage adorned stage, mixing up the melody before pounding out the notes full force mid song. When she controls her voice it’s clear that Florence is a force to be reckoned with and the added weight of guitar to her voice in Girl With One Eye makes for a haunting number in which she looks almost possessed by her song.
At times there is a tendency for her voice to wander and as she breaks into dance around the stage in Drumming Song it seems to struggle in places as she loses control. Nevertheless, towards the end of the track she regains composure, climaxing the number with an ending not dissimilar to The Cranberries Zombie. This is followed rapidly by the more mellow Cosmic Love and as Florence’s backdrop transforms into a sea of flashing lights, so too does the floor as dozens of cameras film the song. Though she delivers the number with passion and drive, it’s undoubtedly the addition of the harps which add the final touches to this song, turning it from classic ballad into an otherworldly number.
Midset, Florence decides to offer the audience a new song, Strangeness & Charm, which is received with mixed results. It starts so fast that Flo appears to be rapping and the lyrics run awash, almost inaudible at times before drifting off into something akin to My Boy Builds Coffins. Whilst it is at times catchy, the number seems almost too long, culminating into something of what a Florence megamix might sound like. The failings of the new number to excite the crowd are however overshadowed by the following cover of Candi Staton’s You Got The Love. Opening with just vocals and strings Florence builds the song until the audience are bouncing along to every beat.
It’s this which is the pinnacle of the evening. The vocals on the closing Dog Days Are Over seem weak as Florence gets swept along with the audience karaoke and Kiss With A Fist and Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) in the encore, gets lost in a similar vain. As Florence herself dictates, ‘tonight’s set will be mostly filled with songs from the album’ and with only one extra song and Hurricane Drunk missing from the set there is a sense of disappointment, even if she’s true to her word. Florence has the potential to delight her audience and create vocals with ultimate esteem, but with a tendency to miss hit notes and play it safe with the set list, a successful follow up to the first album might be hard to achieve.