Florence and the Machine @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire 27th September 2009

After having played to a 800 capacity Bloomsbury Ballroom spanning over two nights, it was time for the next step up. This time Florence would be performing in front of a sold out 2000 strong Shepherd’s Bush Empire spanning over three nights. I snapped up my ticket the moment they went on sale to o2 customers. Well I arrived at 3.30pm to only see only 5 people waiting outside on the steps. Well it was 3 and a half hours till the doors opened. When there was only 5 people there they made their way to where people go to load up at the side. I made my way there to see it was Florence. So Florence took a few minutes to sign and have pictures taken. It was nice in a way as there wasn’t that many people there at that time. Around 7pm the doors opened and the people started going in and as soon as I got in I walked at a fast pace to get to the front. I did get a good spot in the centre. We were then told to sit down as there was a hours wait till the first act came on. Sitting down was nice. Even though I was sitting down outside it was nice to be inside where it was warm. Just a few minutes before 8pm the support band The xx came onto the stage. I last saw them at the Camden Crawl as there were good things said about them. Some of the things people were shouting out was completely uncalled for. Here was a band which are an emerging talent and are going to become big one day. Show the support bands some respect I say. The set was brilliant it was 9 songs which were taken off the self titled album. The night started off with the Intro which appears on the album and was then followed on by the mellowing Crystalised. Crystalised was the first single released off the album and it is a really good one. Album tracks Islands and Heart Skipped A Beat were the next two songs. During Islands the lights were shining to create two x’s. It did remind me how the X Files did there X when it was on TV. The last three songs on the night were Basic Space, Infinity which sounds amazing then it was onto the final song of the night, Night Time. After a brilliant set it was another 30 minute wait till Florence. The xx I think by next year the fan base will be bigger.

Florence then took the stage at 9.15. When she came on she was in her white dress and a gold neck piece. She looked like Cleopatra. The first song on the night was a short and sombre Kiss With A Fist. The crowd loved this song singing the first few lines to the song. It was a nice song to open up with and it definitely was a crowd pleaser. Following on was non album tracks Bird Song Intro (which is just a musical introduction) then onto Bird Song. Now the first few seconds of this song Florence is just singing into the microphone no backing track The band then start to play and this is a extremely powerful song which has a strong chorus. Florence did make a mistake which she mentions before going into the next song. She mentions that she went into another song but I was caught up with the whole atmosphere I didn’t even recognise this mistake. Well the next song being Girl With One Eye. Well the song sounds very blues influenced. It is a strong powerful song. My Boy Builds Coffins is next and it is played at a fast pace and I really enjoy this song. After is onto Are You Hurting? Which appeared as a B side to Rabbit Heart. It is a nice song. Following on the set was shook up a bit. It is nice hearing things you wont hear again after the tour. Well these songs being I’m Not Calling You A Liar and Hurricane Drunk which were both acoustic. Now these sounded completely amazing. It is back to business and it was onto Between Two Lungs which was a brilliant performance of the song. The next two songs Florence had some fun with the audience. Dog Days Are Over is a fast paced song which has a strong chorus. Everyone claps in tune for this song. Later during the song Florence told the crowd to jump when she got to the chorus. The chorus starts and the whole of Shepherd’s Bush Empire was jumping up and down. For the next song Howl Florence split the crowd into two. The task was to howl like a wolf. So each side took turn and in the end the right side (which I was on) out howled the left. Well this was a good strong song all of the crowd join with the howl during the song. Drumming Song which is the current single follows on. Well it is a song that has grown on me. It is a strong song which has some really good lyrics. After its over Florence mentions that the next song is her favourite song. There are shouts from the crowd who say Cosmic Love. Well the next song is Cosmic Love. Well it is a really beautiful song which has mellowing lyrics. The harp works perfectly throughout this song. If I Had A Heart is next and it was so short that I didn’t even register the song because I was expecting longer. When I say short I mean 40 seconds. Well the final song of the night was Blinding which is in fact a blinding song. It starts off soft then it progresses into a song which is strong. Towards the end of the song Florence aims the microphone at the crowd to which there is a lot of screaming. Florence puts her microphone into the stand and picks up a light which she holds up high in the air. Florence and her band then go off stage only for then she returns moments later (with a Costa cup) for what would be a three song encore. The first song being Etta James’ Something’s Got A Hold Of Me. Florence mentions that the song got her to where she is today and she had sung it in a toilet. Florence sings this song solo and it sounds amazing. After Florence goes off stage and takes off her white dress then she comes back with the rest of the band. Florence is wearing a sparkly top and gold hotpants. She told the crowd she took off the dress because she kept tripping on it. Well the final two songs on the night were the Candi Stanton cover You’ve Got The Love and then the night was rounded off by the ever so catchy Rabbit Heart.


Kiss With A Fist
Bird Song Intro
Bird Song
Girl With One Eye
My Boy Builds Coffins
Are you Hurting?
I’m Calling You A Liar
Hurricane Drunk
Between Two Lungs
Dog Days Are Over
Drumming Song
Cosmic Love
If I Had a Heart


Something’s Got A Hold On Me
You’ve Got The Love
Rabbit Heart (Raise It up)

OVERALL: All in all this was a brilliant night. Florence was good plus the support The xx were brilliant to. I would definitely see both bands again as I love the music they produce. My one disappointment with the night is that Florence’s set wasn’t as energetic as I thought it would be. The last time I saw her she stood on the barrier and came into the crowd for a little. I think the first aiders were preparing for this to happen. Considering Florence played to 6000 people at Shepherd’s Bush Empire over three nights how did she loose out on the Mercury Music Prize Award? Lungs has to be one of the best debut albums this year.


One Comment Add yours

  1. jack poynter says:

    hello, i was there on that night too, and i was one of the 5 there early and i met her also! omg we both met her.. do you remember me i was in a jumper and jeans and i was with a ginger friend in a green top and black sparkly shorts.. florence was soo nice and a great gig.. her voice was amazing! email me back to see if you remember me!

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