Its Sunday. Its chart day. What will be No.1 in the UK album chart today? I have a sneaking suspicion it might be Florence and the Machine.
I first saw her a couple of years ago at the opening of the Uniqlo flagship store. The vision was a girl in a plaid shirt singing over the top of some beats that she created by occasionally banging a drum. I didn't know who the hell she was but thought, wow she's got some guts. The next time I saw her was in November at an acoustic concert in The Union Chapel where she had accumulated some band members and started to wear gold leaf makeup. Her voice spun out and reverberated within the acoustics of the chapel and the spine-tingling opening chimes of "Dog Days" made me sit up and take note. Fast forward 8 months and I headed down to The Rivoli Ballroom for her album launch and performance. The lyrics to her "Drumming Song" rang very true as the amplifiers were cranked up as if to fill the O2 and the crowd were physically blasted with her new set "There's a drumming noise inside my head .......I swear if you could hear it, it makes such an almighty sound...... ". Well we did hear it! What a massive voice and what a massive performance. The Machine now consists of 7 musicians including long-term collaborators Rob Ackroyd (guitar), Chris Hayden (drums), Isabella summers (keyboards) and Tom Monger (harp)........which you can just about see in my snap from the stage.
Thankfully here is a much clearer photo, courtesy of one of Florence's collaborators on her style - jeweller Dominic Jones. I got in touch with Dominic to see if he had any old photos of her as they have been friends since the beginning of her career. This is a picture he took of her at a party in his old squat (Squallyoaks) from early 2006.
"there is also a pic of her on by blog from a club night i put on in 2007 it was one of her first few gigs and i paid her £50. i only really did the night so my friends would have to see her! i've been her biggest fan from before she even started florence and the machine. i used to force her to make up songs and sing them to me in the toilets of nambucca. "
Here are some rings from is his latest collection which Florence wears when she performs. I have heard on the twitter grapevine that Hannah Marshall has had a hand in the costumes for her next video so I'll do some detective work to find out more.................check back soon......