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Florence and the Machine
Belsonic, Custom House Square, Belfast
Edwin McFee, 06 Sep 2010
Prancing onstage in trademark white floaty dress (does she ever wash that thing?) Florence Welch and her Machine make their return to Belfast in the suitably gothic surroundings of Custom House Square and despite the seemingly omnipresent ‘Dogs Days (Are Over)’ sound-tracking everything from Katie Price commercials to witless reality TV on an almost daily basis, it would seem Belfast isn’t fed up with her yet – the gig has been sold out for an eon.
Kicking off with ‘Drumming Song,’ it’s almost instantly obvious that Florence has developed into an iconic frontwoman. You only have to look around the venue to see dozens of dodgy orange dye jobs and frilly outfits on display (and that’s just the boys). Indeed, her influence on popular culture is growing by the week, even though she still only has one album to her name.
To her credit, Ms Welch doesn’t look too worn out by the seemingly endless tour she’s been on either and her voice on ‘Howl,’ ‘Blinding’ and the achingly beautiful ‘Cosmic Love’ is incredible to listen to.
While at times the volume levels are a little low, the musicianship on display is first class and the debut of new song ‘Strangeness And Charm’ is to be welcomed.
Seven minutes long and fairly relentless from the get-go, it’s a dark and brooding number with a killer chorus, staccato vocals and some good old fashioned screaming thrown in for good measure. Apart from the goth-reggae breakdown at the end it’s an ace tune, but it might turn off some of the cardigan-wearing, pipe and slippers brigade who have attached themselves to her of late (no bad thing really). After that piece of delightful darkness, Florence ends her set with ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ with the drenched crowd nearly drowning out the frontwoman as they sing every word.
As expected, ‘Dogs Days (Are Over)’ makes an appearance for the encore and while the song itself is almost certainly over-saturated, Joe Public still hasn’t grown tired of it, and it’d take a colder reviewer than myself to deny the charm of the tune. Now, where can I find some of that orange hair dye?